Sundance Square Recognized with Fort Worth Chamber’s Vandergriff Award

Sundance Square Recognized with
Fort Worth Chamber’s Vandergriff Award

12/11/2013

FORT WORTH, Tex. — Sundance Square, an iconic 35-block entertainment destination drawing more than 10 million visitors annually, was recognized by the Fort Worth Chamber today with its 2013 Vandergriff Award, presented to a legacy individual or organization whose contributions have positively impacted Tarrant County on an international scale.

“Sundance Square has emerged from a vision in the ’80s to global acclaim,” said Bill Thornton, Fort Worth Chamber CEO and president. “It’s the heartbeat of downtown and a nationally known revitalization success story.”

Sundance Square is widely honored as a premier model of urban development and an American success story in revitalizing a downtown area that had fallen into decline after World War II. Its high-rise developments and restored turn-of-the-century structures epitomize both Western heritage and futuristic vision. It is esteemed for its pedestrian-focused, safe and immaculately groomed environment.

In November 2013, Sundance Square opened its stunning one-acre Plaza in the heart of downtown, providing an open-air 24/7 venue that
further stokes national and international acclaim for Fort Worth.

 “Sundance Square is absolutely honored to be recognized with the Vandergriff Award,” said Johnny Campbell, president and CEO of Sundance Square. “We are very pleased to know that the community sees the efforts of Sundance Square as a positive contribution. After all, Sundance is not just made up of buildings and businesses but rather the people of our community who promote it and use it.”

Accepting the award with Campbell at the Chamber’s State of the County luncheon December 11, businessman Ed Bass outlined four ingredients that made Sundance Square’s success possible.

“One, the power of an idea – the right idea – to have a lively 24/7 environment in which to work, live and play,” he began. “Two, great partners like the City, the County, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., the Chamber, the property owners and merchants. Three, a fabulous management team to operate it. And four, you — the people of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. If we’d built it and you’d not come, we wouldn’t be the place to be.”

Impact Extends Beyond Downtown

The center-city development’s impact extends in all directions from downtown, energizing development in adjacent areas from Seventh Street to the Southside and Northside.

“We have always seen Sundance Square as a catalyst in the revitalization of downtown Fort Worth,” Campbell said. “It has always been a fundamental part of the mission to create a vibrant center in the CBD from which new development could emanate throughout the downtown and ultimately throughout the central city.

“We see the waves of new development in the central city along with the national recognition that Fort Worth has received in recent years as a validation of the positive impact that Sundance Square has had on Fort Worth and Tarrant County. We see this impact as reaching beyond the economics and into quality-of-life, city identity and a model for urban design.”

What’s next?

“Sundance has always followed a development pattern that is informed by the needs of the city,” Campbell said.

“Roughly half of the land inventory owned by Sundance Square has been developed. So there is plenty of room to grow and we believe that hospitality and residential uses are the next likely frontier of development for Sundance Square. Beyond that, the merchandise mix, programming and management of Sundance square will continue to evolve with downtown.”

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About the Vandergriff Award
The Vandergriff Award was established in 2011 in memory of the late Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff and recognizes an individual, company, organization or event that has positively impacted Tarrant County. General Motors received the award in 2011 and Van Cliburn was honored in 2012.