Co-owner of The Publican Group John Ahern signed a 15-year lease with the hotel co-owner Luke Martino, with an option to a further 10 years, in an agreement that will have the hotel restored to its former glory and include a new commercial and retail centre
Other pubs in Perth run by the Melbourne-based Publican Group include The George on St Georges Terrace, The Aviary rooftop bar and restaurant in William Street, Wolf Lane in Murray Street and The Byrneleigh in Nedlands.
Mr Ahern said the Guildford Hotel would be ‘a true corner pub’ that would be different to the company’s existing pubs in Perth.
‘The most important thing is to marry the beautiful and nostalgic value the hotel has in Guildford with our interior design to reflect that history,’ he said.
‘One of the important things is we get the community support for our internal design.’
Mr Ahern said residents in the area would be contacted for input at closer to the interior fit-out stage.
‘We certainly want to understand the history of the pub,’ he said. ‘We want the place to reflect a lot of that ” maybe with memorabilia and stories.’
The interior fit-out and opening times hinge on how quickly the new pub owners can make the facade and existing building compliant.
The interior stage is expected to take 25 weeks, but the exterior phase could take longer.
Mr Martino said while all the variables were hard to control, the building permit was being extended for a year, in which time he hoped to complete the development.
The base build of the pub will cost a minimum of $3 million to |$4 million, according to Mr Martino.
‘We know it’s going to be an expensive exercise but it will be well worth it,’ he said.
‘We’re hoping to keep the facade and the belvedere. The community is going to benefit from |people coming and spending money here and, hopefully, that creates employment and opportunities for the locals.
‘What we need now is the positive support.’
The Guildford community has been fighting for the hotel to be re-opened for the past five years, with numerous rallies calling on the hotel owners and State Government to intervene to save the heritage-listed building.
Peter Langlands, spokesman for the Save Guildford Hotel Group, said he was sceptical about the hotel development news.
‘On the face of it, this is great news. Unfortunately, the community has heard these sorts of announcements on a number of occasions, but nothing has come of it,’ he said.
The request for the extension to the development approval is expected to go before the City of Swan at its July council meeting.
City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley confirmed the request for the extension was received last Monday.
Mr Foley said the council had granted the hotel owners concessions in the hope the development could go ahead as soon as possible.
‘This includes waiving a requirement for the applicant to make a cash-in-lieu contribution for the shortfall of parking bays, which equates to about $3 million,’ he said.