EXCLUSIVE: Hasbro Looking at Superman Building to Create Providence Campus
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Today, Hasbro calls itself “a global play and entertainment company committed to creating the world's best play experiences."
And, in an era in which the largest toy store chain in America, Toys “R” Us has recently filed for bankruptcy protection, Hasbro's ongoing shift to entertainment and gaming is strategically sound and Hasbro's stock has performed. The stock closed on Wednesday at $97.16 per share -- up more than 27 percent over the 52 week low of $76.14 a share.
Hasbro's Next Move?
According to sources, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is providing initial options including one which includes the Superman Building, but the state’s economic development agency is also pushing the I-195 land, as well as locations outside the city of Providence, according to sources. The Superman Building has been vacant since 2012, after Bank of America vacated the building.
Commerce refused to respond to questions about sites being considered. “A company’s plans for growth, consolidation or relocation — if any—would best be addressed by that company,” said Matt Sheaff, spokesperson for Commerce Corporation. Efforts to reach Hasbro were unsuccessful.
Looking to Providence
In 2013, Hasbro moved more than 350 employees to the former Blue Cross (and former AT&T) building across from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Hasbro employs 1,600 in total in Rhode Island, according to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training website. The majority of them are located at the official corporate headquarters for Hasbro which is located off Newport Avenue in Pawtucket. Others are located in East Providence at a 123,000 square foot building — purchased by one of the real estate holding companies owned by former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino.
His company purchased the building in 2015 at a reported price of $10.5 million, and at the time of the acquisition, he said there were more than 400 employees at that location.
It was the location of the old Narragansett Race Track.
When Hasbro announced its second quarter results, the word “toy” was barely uttered. It is now an entertainment company.
“The Hasbro team executed another very strong quarter across the Brand Blueprint. Story-led brands and innovative brand initiatives drove double-digit revenue growth and an increase in operating profit margin," said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's chairman and chief executive officer in Hasbro's latest quarterly report. "Franchise Brand, Hasbro Gaming and Partner Brand revenues grew year-over-year, and revenue increased across all geographic regions. We entered the important second half of the year with strong consumer momentum, a robust and diverse entertainment slate and compelling new brand initiatives."
Hasbro last month launched a major event, HASCON, at the Convention Center. Back in April, the company was ranked number one on the 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens list by CR Magazine.
This is the first time that Hasbro has been ranked first, and the third straight year it has ranked in the top five.
“We are deeply humbled to be ranked Number 1 for our commitment and performance in Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability. Being a responsible corporate citizen is core to our business strategy, how we operate and who we are as a company. Today, more than ever, consumers, investors and employees around the world expect companies to act responsibly and transparently, and we are committed to continuing to raise the bar for ourselves in this area,” said Goldner.
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