PHILADELPHIA-Mayor John Street signed a law reauthorizing Center City District until 2025. The boundaries of Center City District encompass a 120-block Downtown commercial area.

In a related development, Moody’s Investor Service assigned a bond rating of “Aa3 with a stable outlook” to CCD’s nearly $17.3 million in series 2004 business improvement assessment bonds. The assessment is based on “the value of the district property, the high level of debt service coverage, and the assessment collection mechanics,” according to a Moody’s statement.

The bonds are secured by special assessments on the property within the district and the proceeds will be used to refund series 1995 bonds in order to extend the maturities to 2025. Moody’s rating for CCD also notes that CCD bills property owners directly and is separate from the City and the school district bonds which Moody’s has rated “Baa1/negative outlook,” and “Ba2″, respectively.

CCD was founded in 1990 at the behest of more than 2,000 property owners, commercial tenants, Center City employers and the city to improve the safety and esthetics of Downtown. It has now received two reauthorizations, and its involvement extends to marshalling remodeling efforts. The latest authorization enables it to take advantage of low interest rates to refinance improvement projects.

CCD is supported by mandatory assessments on taxable Downtown property. A 23-member board representing major Center City property owners, including owners of commercial buildings, governs the private-sector organization. Joseph Zuritzsky of Parkway Corp. is the current chairman. Other current board members are: Dean Adler of Lubert Adler Management Co., John Conner of Brookstone Realty, David Marshall of American Equity Corp., David Rubenstein of Rubenstein Co., Ronald Rubin of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust and Randall Scott of Thomas Properties Group. A professional manager, Paul Levy, is CCD’s president and CEO.

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