Moody’s upgrades ratings again for Long Beach


Long Beach’s treasurer announced at a council meeting Tuesday night that Moody’s has upgraded the city’s credit rating, with a “positive” outlook.

Treasurer Ina Resnick noted that the city’s rating had been close to junk-bond status in the recent past, but it has been significantly raised, to BAA2, from BAA3, late last week. The city has been receiving improved reports since the Long Beach council settled a massive lawsuit filed by the developer Sinclair Haberman.

“This is similar to your credit card,” Resnick said. “It’s how banks determine interest rates. The interest rate depends on what your credit is.” She said the new rating will mean that the city will pay lower interest rates on its bonds.

Interest rates for the city might be $900,000 less over the life of a bond, Resnick said.

The good news is attributable in large part to the settlement, after three decades, of a $151 million lawsuit by the developer Sinclair Haberman, who took the city to court after his plan to build oceanfront apartments was thwarted. Haberman claimed that city officials failed to support his proposal before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

A tentative settlement, announced last December and now approved by both sides, calls for the city to pay Haberman $75 million, and to allow the developer to build two 13½-story apartment buildings on Shore Road. They would be the tallest buildings in the city.