The former beachfront Howard Johnson Hotel was demolished Wednesday as developers are set to put up a luxury condominium in its place.
Construction crews began tearing down the hotel at 700 North Atlantic Boulevard at 8 a.m.
Hundreds showed up to watch the building come down, which ended up taking just a few seconds once all the equipment was set.
"Without warning it came on down, it was pretty neat," Steve Bauer said.
The demolition did create a cloud of dust that blanketed a few hotels, condo buildings and nearby cars, but the company provided free car washes to motorists.
In it's place will go an 18-story, 95-residence tower, the Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Developers say the Paramount will be the first true residential condo on the beach in a decade, and will feature full-service resort amenities including a private pool, spa, cabanas, gym and restaurant.
Units will range from 1,930 to 3,477 square feet, with the price tag starting at $1 million.
"When you get about maybe 95 luxury units in there I think it’s going to help support the economy," Fort Lauderdale resident David Wood said.