Bond ratings boon for Metroplex

Standard & Poor’s gives A+ rating, alongside Moody’s A1 rating

— Two newly awarded bond ratings position Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority on a solid path to savings.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Tuesday, Aug. 7, issued a new “A+” rating for Metroplex’s serial bonds totaling $13.6 million, which is the highest upper medium grade bond rating. Moody’s Investors service also assigned an equal rating of “A1” on Thursday, Aug. 9, to the serial bonds. Both ratings represent the authority holds a low credit risk and has a strong capability to repay debt.

“They are good, solid bond ratings,” Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen said. “People look at the bond rating as a good quality bond.”

Gillen said the bond ratings reflected well on Metroplex’s management and of the direction the authority has taken on economic development countywide.

“We continue to invest in new projects that in turn create additional tax base and new jobs,” Gillen said in a statement.

Metroplex service districts cover most of the City of Schenectady and other towns in the county. Niskayuna expanded the authority’s service area earlier this year. Metroplex has approved project grants, expenditures and loans totaling more than $143 million, with it funding 155 façade grants countywide, Metroplex Board of Directors member Bill Chapman previously said.

Also, S&P credited the authority for adding more than 1.2 million square feet of new or renovated commercial space to downtown Schenectady, revitalizing the “cultural district” and securing The Golub Corporation’s corporate headquarters.

“Each of these projects increase the number of workers, students, area residents and visitors frequenting the downtown area,” S&P said in its report.

The recent rating will help Metroplex as it seeks to refinance its debt, with Moody’s projecting a savings of 5.5 percent and S&P slightly higher at 5.7 percent.

Gillen estimated savings would total more than $500,000 annually and S&P roughly estimated the savings could total $747,500.

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