Published: Nov 01, 2012 11:34 AM EDT
Updated: Nov 01, 2012 1:00 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - After more than 40 years in existence, the Clarion Hotel on U.S. 41 in South Fort Myers is being demolished.

The hotel closed and was sold in September, and last month the contents inside underwent a liquidation sale.

Honc Industries, the company in charge of demolition, began knocking down the two story building on the property's south end early Thursday.

"We'll work north, go through the old restaurant, the old Sam Seltzer's, and then on to the five story tower, and that'll be the completion of the project," said Steve Honc, of Honc Industries.

According to Honc, the project is the second largest demolition in Lee County within the last five years.

When it's complete at the end of the year, the developer plans to break ground on restaurants, Honc said.

New construction could begin January 31st.