PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Downtown Providence businesses are optimistic that the arrival of Hasbro in LaSalle Square could be a big boost for the local economy.
The Pawtucket-based toymaker recently completed a colorful renovation of the former Blue Cross Blue Shield Building, which will now house its marketing and packaging divisions.
"I think it looks a lot better than what the building looked before," says Desi Dopart, who works downtown. "I know they put a lot of work into it."
"It's turned from an eyesore into a beautiful new building," agrees Lorrie Prybyla of Providence Parking Enforcement.
Hasbro Senior Vice President Wayne Charness confirms that about 350 marketing and packaging employees are being moved into the Downtown Providence office. Nearby restaurants hope those incoming workers will mean more business.
"It's great, it's going to bring up Downtown which has been a little quiet lately down here," says George Trikoulis of Coffee King.
"Having finally a well-occupied building such as Hasbro with 350 people, that's a boon to the street," adds Julie Mazza of Murphy's Pub.
Mazza says it is now up to the businesses to hold onto the new customers.
"We need bodies. We need people. It's a captive audience. You've got them here, now show them what you have."
Hasbro says most of the workers moved into the Providence office earlier this week. Another twenty or so are due to arrive next week.
Copyright WPRI 12
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