Hasbro ex[amdomg into downtown Providence

Associated Press
Posted7/18/2011 11:02 AM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Hasbro Inc. is expanding into downtown Providence in a project expected to bring 284 jobs over three years and an investment of $24 million in the city.

The site of the toymaker's expansion will be 15 La Salle Square, Wayne Charness, a senior vice president at Hasbro, tells The Associated Press.

Some employees will be relocated from the company headquarters in Pawtucket.

"It's a great property, and I think it will serve Hasbro well," Charness said.

The property was formerly occupied by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

The company, whose products include Monopoly, Transformers and Beyblade, is receiving up to $1.6 million in tax breaks from the state as part of the expansion. A 3 p.m. news conference has been scheduled with Hasbro executives at 15 La Salle Square.

Employees were told of the expansion plans Monday at a staff meeting.

The company said in May it was moving 70 jobs from its facility in East Longmeadow, Mass., to Rhode Island and laying off another 75 Massachusetts-based workers in a reorganization of its gaming division.

Hasbro said Monday its second-quarter profit was up 33 percent. But adjusted net income was weaker than expected as the toy maker reorganized its games division and invested in its television joint venture with Discovery Communications. It also increased spending on an international expansion.

38 Studios, the video gaming company of Curt Schilling, is located just down the street at One Empire Square. State officials have said they hope to create an interactive entertainment and digital media cluster.

Hasbro employs some 1,400 people in the Ocean State.