The boardwalk in Asbury Park on July 9, 2020. 

Asbury Park, the New Jersey shore town where Bruce Springsteen rose to fame with songs about hardscrabble blue-collar life, had its credit rating raised one grade by Moodys Investors Service, thanks to new residential and commercial development.

The popular summer destination, where Springsteen gained renown in the late 1960s and early 1970, was upgraded by Moodys to A1, the fifth-highest investment grade, from A2. Tourists and second-home owners are propelling the the local economy, which contrasts with the citys poor full-time residents.

Although the citys resident wealth and income levels are weak, they are improving, Moodys said.

Asbury Park was famous for its rides and arcades through the mid-20th century before beginning a long decline. In recent years, a growing gay and artistic community has helped bring back sections of the city and spawned a craft brewery scene. The citys $1.9 billion tax base has grown 5.6% annually over the past four years as developers built new luxury townhouses and condo and hotels.

Springsteen named his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and performed at venues like the Upstage Club and The Stone Pony with Steve Van Zandt and Southside Johnny.

With assistance by Elise Young

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