Developers are confident they will be serving drinks at the fire-ravaged Guildford Hotel within a year.
Their confidence comes as the State Government yesterday awarded $100,000 towards the reconstruction of the hotel's belvedere - the landmark feature of the 130-year-old building that was destroyed in a fire in 2008.
The grant, the highest possible under the Government's heritage grants program, is the biggest financial contribution it has made since the fire.
Co-owner Luke Martino said that the rebuilt belvedere was a significant but relatively small part of the project to restore the hotel to its former glory. He said preliminary work had begun on the overall project with graffiti removed and land cleared.
The building was leased this year to Melbourne-based The Publican Group, which is behind Perth venues The Aviary and The George. At the time, The Publican Group co-owner John Ahern said the building would be restored with "a modern twist".
"We want to marry the historical importance of the building and the needs of the local area for a new and vibrant restaurant," Mr Ahern said.
Yesterday, project architect Kylee Schoonens said original pieces that survived the fire would be used in the restoration, including cornices and floorboards.
Acting City of Swan chief executive Colin Cameron said approval for the development had been extended to the end of the year. If works have "substantially commenced" by then, more approvals would not be needed.
But Mr Cameron said the proponents had lodged a request for an amendment to the approval to allow multiple dwellings at the rear of the building and to change the use and layout of the second storey. These would be considered by the full council at its meeting next month.
A spokesman for the Save the Guildford Hotel action group, Dr Peter Langlands, said the heritage funds announcement was a promising sign.
He said it was also promising that the developers, the Heritage Council and the City of Swan had agreed to fast-track approvals for the hotel to be re-roofed without delay.