News release

Lonicera Partners and Rabina secure JV equity and financing for Downtown Brooklyn multi-housing development

JLL Capital Markets arranged the loan from Santander Bank and City National Bank and JV equity from Davis

June 23, 2023

Jenna Sharp

Capital Markets PR
+1 214 438 6450

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 9, 2023 – JLL Capital Markets has arranged the capitalization of 55 Willoughby, a 268,000-square-foot, mixed-use luxury development in Downtown Brooklyn that will feature 295 apartments and 3,500 square feet of retail space.

JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, a joint venture of Lonicera Partners and Rabina, to secure a floating-rate loan through Santander Bank and City National Bank, as well as a JV equity investment by The Davis Companies (Davis).

With foundations already in the ground, 55 Willoughby qualified for the city’s now expired 421a tax abatement, which will allow the developer to bring 89 affordable units to the development along with 206 market rate units. The unit mix will be comprised of studio, junior-one, one-, junior-two and two-bedroom units. This unit mix reflects demand from predominantly younger renters and students from higher education institutions in the immediate area seeking accommodations in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn.

The property will be highly amenitized with approximately 12,000 square feet dedicated to social and recreational offerings including a state-of-the-art gym, yoga studio, lounge, media room, co-working space, rooftop terrace, deck, sky lounge and bike room.

Ranked among the most affluent markets in the city, Downtown Brooklyn offers residents a dynamic 24/7 environment surrounded by popular enclaves like Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene. Subway options provide connectivity to anywhere in New York City, with Downtown Manhattan just 15 minutes away.

Experienced, locally based developer, Lonicera Partners originally purchased 55 Willoughby and the additional air rights from 57 Willoughby in December 2021. The partnership retained Colberg Architecture to design a modern, glass and porcelain curtain wall tower providing panoramic views of the entire borough.  The joint venture marks Davis’ continued investment in New York as the firm continues to expand its portfolio in the region.

The JLL debt and equity advisory team representing the sponsor was led by Jeffrey Julien, Chris Peck, Nicco Lupo, Rob Hinckley, Geoff Goldstein, Marko Kazanjian and Alex Staikos.

“55 Willoughby will be one of the last beneficiaries of the 421a tax abatement program in New York City,” said Julien. “The supply pipeline in Brooklyn is projected to significantly taper off, and there will be very limited competing product once this new luxury tower delivers.”

“This transaction aligns two best-in-class sponsors with astute capital providers who recognize an opportunity to invest in a rare development in a high barrier to entry market. We’re thrilled with the results,” added Peck. 

About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

About Lonicera Partners

Lonicera Partners is a Downtown Brooklyn based real estate investment and development company founded in 2010. Lonicera’s key value proposition stems from its disciplined and conservative approach, its active management of all aspects of development, and its tight geographic focus in Brooklyn. Over the years, the firm has cultivated strategic community relationships that have yielded unique off-market opportunities. Lonicera thoroughly understands, on a block-by-block basis, its core neighborhoods and develops projects that meet the needs of the market and the community.

About Rabina

Rabina is a real estate investment and development firm based in New York that has been family-owned and operated for three generations and more than 60 years. Mickey Rabina and his son Josh Rabina lead a team of talented professionals, many of whom have been with the firm for decades.  Through multiple business cycles, Rabina has owned more than  30 million square feet of residential, office, retail, mission critical and industrial assets throughout the United States and abroad. The Rabina portfolio continues to grow through a robust pipeline of ground-up development and opportunistic investments in institutional-quality assets.   Consistent leadership, a long-term vision and a commitment to integrity have allowed Rabina to thrive across the years as partner, developer, landlord, borrower and lender. Applying long-standing principles to present challenges, Rabina stands poised for continued growth in an ever-changing market.