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56,000 Square-Foot Jeep Museum to Open in Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- An interactive museum devoted to the innovation and history of the Jeep is expected to open in Ohio in 2022, project organizers said.

The Jeep Experience will be housed in a 56,000 square-foot (5,200 square-meter) building in metropolitan Toledo, a non-profit working group behind the museum announced last week.

Planners are keeping the location quiet while the contract is finalized.

"It'll be on that list of iconic institutions in our community that draw visitors into Toledo," said Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, who put it "up there" with The Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Zoo and other attractions.

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The project is expected to cost $40 million, and the group anticipates about 250,000 visitors per year.

An outdoor track where Jeeps can be driven will be among the museum's exhibits, group members said, and there's been discussion about building a hotel nearby. The group has worked to model the facility around the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Jeep's parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, has been very involved in the planning, groups members said.

"We are thrilled by this initiative to honor the heritage of such an iconic brand, and celebrate the women and men who have dedicated their lives to building these vehicles for nearly 80 years," Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Toledo community leaders to bring this interactive Jeep experience to life."

The first Jeep models were manufactured in Toledo starting in the 1940s. Today, thousands of people work on assembly lines at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Toledo where a model of Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator, a new truck, are made.

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