Toledo is getting a $40 million Jeep Experience museum in 2022. The Ohio location will be a 56,000 square-foot building dedicated to the history of Jeep. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is helping a nonprofit organization, called the Jeep Experience, establish and build the museum.
Toledo has been the home to manufacturing the off-road brand since the 1940s. Locals are very excited to finally bring a Jeep museum to the area. Ryan Oostra, the president and CEO of health care company ProMedica, played an instrumental role in making the museum come to fruition. He presented the original idea, and it quickly received the support of FCA leadership. Oostra commented, “They’ve been incredibly involved with all the planning. They want to be involved with future decisions and the board.” He is hoping that FCA helps fund the project.
Funding is essential because Oostra doesn’t want to settle for a minimal representation of vintage Jeep models in a warehouse. The development team has been using the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from the Chevrolet Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky as inspiration. This concept allows visitors to immerse themselves in Jeep’s rich heritage. Oostra would also like to include interactive exhibits. He explained, “When you think of all the opportunities, whether it’s history, what’s happened in automotive, World War II, they use Jeeps in ‘Jurassic Park,’ and then you look at engineering and design, and production and art, you begin to think about it from a whole variety of opportunities.”
The Jeep Experience will be constructed in an existing 56,000 square-foot building located in metropolitan Toledo. Oostra will not announce the exact address until the nonprofit closes the deal. Museum planners expect to attract approximately 250,000 visitors per year. This is a great opportunity for the city of Toledo, too.
Robin Whitney, ProMedica’s chief strategic planning, business development, and real estate officer revealed the group will offer basic food services. The idea of a Jeep themed restaurant sounds adventurous. They are also open to building a hotel next to the property if needed. The museum will creat 25 jobs in the Toledo area, though that number could grow depending on the amenities offered.
Oostra and his team still have a long way to go to reach their funding goals. They’ve launched a fund-raising campaign expected to last for approximately a year and a half. Design work will begin in early 2021, which is when planners will start assembling Jeeps. The museum will tentatively be ready for visitors at the end of 2022.