Since the late 1960s, a hotel stood on the corner of Larry Holmes Drive and South Third Street in Easton.
As of this week, the building is gone.
Over the years, the building served as a Sheraton, Best Western, Quality Inn and, finally, Days Inn, said Mayor Sal Panto.
Workers demolished the building and should finish clearing the debris on the city-owned three-acre site in about five days, according to the mayor.
Thursday morning, workers from Wildheart Industries of Hillsborough, N.J., worked on demolishing the remaining portions of the structure.
Once demo and cleanup are complete, the city will decide how much temporary parking space it will use on the site.
“Once it’s all clear, we are going to decide on it,” Panto said. “We are certainly going to pave [a portion of] it so it’s safe.”
Originally, the city planned to pave the entire site, but Panto said the expense versus the return would not be there. Instead, the city will pave a portion of the site and park vehicles on the remaining grassy portion during major events.
He estimated the site could accommodate about 300 vehicles for special events and festivals such as Heritage Day, Bacon Fest and Garlic Fest. During the summer, it also could provide overflow parking from the city’s two garages since the Crayola Experience, a downtown attraction, has its busiest months between June and August, he said.
The site could accommodate about 150 vehicles on the paved macadam portion of the site, he said.
Panto said the city plans to move all city employee vehicles to the open lot space from the nearby City Hall garage to open up about 40 spaces for public parking in that garage.
“The problem is we are getting a number of companies that want to move into Easton but they want to make sure there’s parking for employees,” he said.
While the cleared site would serve as a temporary parking lot, Da Vinci Science Center of Allentown has its eyes on the parcel for building its massive Science City project.
Panto said city officials would know better by the fall if the project will move forward.
Da Vinci should complete a business plan for the project by June and is doing a market study, he said.
H2R Market Research of Springfield, Mo. is conducting the market research study, according to Michael Litzenberger, spokesperson for Da Vinci Science Center. He confirmed the business plan should be completed in June.