Once part of a rancho of wheat and barley fields where cattle grazed, El Segundo’s modern history began in the early 1900s when Standard Oil chose the area for its second refinery in California (hence the name El Segundo, the second). Long known for being the center of many companies in the aerospace and petroleum industries, El Segundo boasts the second highest concentration for Fortune 500 companies in the state. El Segundo is now catching some of the Silicon Beach energy and becoming a place to both work and play in style. Its proximity to both LAX and local beaches make it appealing to those whose busy day might include both a board of directors meeting and a surfboard.
Real Estate: El Segundo has primarily been an industrial area but there are also single family homes for sale as well as condominiums for sale and rent and apartment living. The residential neighborhood includes parks, athletic fields and the local high school. New developments are planned to increase the overall housing stock. In keeping with the new flavor of the area, many developments are being designed with residential, retail, and office space all within easy reach.
Community Life: Despite the presence of global commerce and an international airport nearby, El Segundo is often hailed for its small town style. Known by some locals as “the Gundo,” the area is one that inspires loyalty and great affection. As more entrepreneurs move in to El Segundo it has also seen an influx of independent restaurants and shops especially in the historic downtown area. El Segundo Recreation Park has tennis and basketball courts, roller hockey, racquetball, lawn bowling and more.
Local shopping areas include Plaza El Segundo and Continental Park and a new retail and office complex known as The Point is currently under construction. The El Segundo Farmers’ Market is held on Thursday afternoons. The Toyota Sports Center is the official training center for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings and also offers skating lessons and hockey leagues.
Education: El Segundo is served by the El Segundo Unified School District including Richmond Street Elementary, Center Street Elementary, El Segundo Middle School, and El Segundo High School. Vistamar School is a private school offering high school education and St. Anthony is a Catholic school offering preschool, elementary, and middle school classes.
Transportation: The 105 Freeway begins in El Segundo, the 405 Freeway is nearby, and the city is also bisected by Pacific Coast Highway. The Green Line Metro Rail has a stop in the area and the city is served by the L.A. Metro. El Segundo offers dial-a-ride services and a lunchtime shuttle.
Local Attractions: The El Segundo Museum of Art was founded by two passionate collectors, Eva and Brian Sweeney, who have a collection rich in modern art. Exhibits are defined as “experiences” and the innovative museum offers free admission. The Old Town Music Hall shows vintage films and presents live concerts by performers of jazz, ragtime, and other popular music from the past. Silent film showings are accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer, a wind-powered pipe organ that dates back to 1925.