Auburn Kruse Property Purchased
Article by Doug LeDuc | KPC News | January 9, 2019
A group of investors well-known to Auburn has purchased some property of the Dean V. Kruse Foundation there including the site often referenced as the WWII Museum.
The group includes former U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman and entrepreneurs John Kruse and Jason Bontrager, former managing partner of the Jayco, Inc. recreational vehicle manufacturing company.
“Our goal is to build on the Kruse legacy of promoting northeast Indiana by being a communitycentric event and education hub of activity,” John Kruse said in a statement. “I care deeply about our area and am excited that this facility will be positive for the entire northeast Indiana region for decades to come.”
Dean Kruse had built the facility and opened it to the public in 2002 as a World War II museum and automotive museum.
“Auburn has been good to me,” he said in the statement. “I’m looking ahead to my retirement years, and after exploring the many options available to me, I decided that having my nephew John lead the growth and future of this highly visible asset would best serve our community. I couldn’t be happier.”
Many upgrades and improvements are underway at the facility and the investment group said they would continue in the coming months.
“The facility is open for event and conference business,” Stutzman said in the statement. “Wedding receptions, corporate events and special events will all continue, and we invite everyone to connect with us to discuss your event needs.”
Individuals interested in booking the facility were encouraged to reach it by calling 1-260-927-9144. Stutzman said the Gallery 326 antique mall also will continue operations, and looks forward “to being good neighbors to the Early Ford V8 Foundation Museum.”
The price of the transaction was not disclosed. The group said additional plans for the property would be announced in the coming months.