FORT WORTH Construction on Fort Worth's new Sundance Square Plaza is nearly complete.

It's down to the nitty-gritty now, and there's plenty of both: Visitors should expect around the clock construction madness to finish bricks, wiring, lights, speakers and landscaping.

'We're fluctuating between 250 and 500 men on the site at any given time,' said Sundance Square President Johnny Campbell.

The pressure is on Campbell to have the plaza ready for its grand opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

'I will say the stress level is a little bit high right now,' he said Monday afternoon, yelling above the roar of saws, jackhammers and construction vehicles.

The stress level has been high for more than a year for nearby merchants. Many say the construction has chased customers away.

'This is going to be great, bring people back from West 7th and other places,' said Gary Grassia, owner of Simply Fondue on the southern edge of the plaza.

Within days, the space that used to be parking lots below the iconic western mural will blossom with life, adding 32-foot umbrellas to shade outdoor dining. The whole area will have free wi-fi and public restrooms will be built in a new building that's reminiscent of a Victorian conservatory.

Four new restaurants are opening. There's a permanent stage built into the facade of the new art deco Westbrook building facing the plaza's western edge. A total of 216 water jets will create dancing fountains for kids to play in.

'We want this to be steady programming and a steady piece of energy that emanates for the whole downtown,' Campbell said.

There's even good news about the Barnes & Noble, which recently announced it's closing. A new business is expected to sign within weeks.

Sundance Square officials won't say what that is.

However, in all, the revamped Sundance Square Plaza cost more than $100 million. The payoff starts in just four days.


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