Lego’s North American headquarters is coming to Boston – The Boston Globe

Lego’s North American headquarters is coming to Boston – The Boston Globe

“As we have been continuing to grow the business especially over the last five years, it’s become more and more evident to us that we could grow potentially even faster by being located closer to where the more talent is living,” said Skip Kodak, President of the Lego Group in the Americas.

The toymaker is prepared to bring all of the approximately 740-odd full-time employees it currently has in the facility in Enfield — located along the Massachusetts state line between Springfield and Hartford — to the Boston office, offering relocation assistance to those who choose to transfer.

“Realistically, I think I think the number will be less than that,” said Kodak, but he added that he expects the workforce will grow once in Boston. “We’re also giving people a year with all of the support that we have in front of them to make their choice.”

“As we continue to grow the business, really the bottom line for all departments is there’s going to be growth,” he added.

The company still has to choose a location for its new Boston offices, but Kodak said they are “looking in the city proper” in a place easily accessible to public transit. He expects that Lego will announce the location by the end of September.

“I look forward to supporting LEGO Group as they transition their headquarters to Boston and join our mission to become the most family-friendly city in the country,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu in a statement. “This news finally has my kids impressed.”

The city offered Lego no financial incentives to move its operations to Boston, the mayor’s office confirmed.

The interior of the LEGO Education office in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.Courtesy of LEGO Group

Currently, the Enfield facility houses Lego’s sales, marketing, finance, operations, and planning teams, as well as the contact center, the creative in-house agency for the Americas, and a group dedicated to creating 3-D life-size models of the famous multicolored toy blocks.

The move to Boston will happen in phases, the company said, beginning in mid-2025 and concluding by the end of 2026. During the transition period, employees will continue to work in Enfield as well as the existing Boston office for Lego Education North America — which offers educational sets, curricular materials, and teacher training and support for preschool through middle-education classrooms — located at 501 Boylston Street in Back Bay. All new hires from this point forward, said Kodak, will be based in Boston.

“By the standards of today’s corporate environment, it is a pretty long goodbye,” said Kodak.

Lego already has several footholds in Boston. There is the Lego Education office, which moved from Kansas to its current Back Bay locale in 2016. There is also the Legoland Discovery Center in Somerville’s Assembly Row, which opened in 2014 and closed in September for $12 million worth of renovations, but is expected to reopen this spring. Lego has also collaborated with the MIT Media Lab since 1985, said Kodak, and on the philanthropy side, has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston through Lego Education.

The Enfield facility has been open since 1975, when it was designed as the heart of the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution operations for the Americas. By 2007, however, the 230-acre campus had been sold and those operations had moved south to Mexico, Texas, and Tennessee. Enfield downsized, becoming office space.

Over the company’s nearly 50 years in Enfield, it had laid down significant roots in the community, said Kodak, specifically when it comes to philanthropy designed to “meet the needs of underserved children,” he said.

“I would expect us to be investing in and looking for opportunities — not to copy and paste what we’ve done in metro Hartford and Springfield — but to learn from what we’ve done and find those opportunities in Boston,” he said.

Trouble seems to have been brewing in Enfield for some time. Aside from the early-aughts downsizing, in June of 2022, Lego announced that it would build a carbon-neutral manufacturing facility in Virginia — the Danish company’s first US factory — expected to open by the end of 2025.

At the time, the announcement raised eyebrows in Enfield, with some concerned that this meant a shift away from Connecticut. Jennifer MacDonald, a company spokesperson, said the new factory would “have no impact on the size and scope of our Enfield headquarters,” according to the Connecticut Post.

This announcement comes on the heels of several solid financial years for Lego, including nearly $4 billion in revenue for the first six months of 2022, 17 percent higher than the same period in 2021.

Dana Gerber can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @danagerber6.

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