The landmark Mattel Toys sign, for years visible to motorists traveling past Hawthorne on the San Diego Freeway, may soon be history.
A Mattel Inc. spokesman said last week that the company is negotiating to buy a 15-story, 330,000-square-foot office building in neighboring El Segundo to replace its aging corporate headquarters in Hawthorne. The company will sell its Hawthorne property if it moves to El Segundo.
The company, founded in Hawthorne 44 years ago, hopes to make the move by 1991.
"This specific El Segundo site is the focus of our activity at this time," Mattel spokesman Glenn Bozarth said. "It's a site that makes a lot of sense to us."
Hawthorne City Manager Kenneth Jue said the city will miss Mattel.
"It's sort of a sad day," Jue said. "Mattel has been an identity here in Hawthorne since they started."
Mattel, visible because of the giant, illuminated sign perched atop its building, owns about nine acres and leases 26 more acres next to the San Diego Freeway. Toys, including the company's hugely successful Barbie Doll, were once assembled at the site until manufacturing operations were moved overseas years ago.