Demolition of the former Cafe del Rio building is tentatively scheduled to start next week.
Owner Dan Bernard and contractor Sandy Weise, owner of Mill Station Enterprises, applied for a demolition permit Wednesday. Larry McPhail, of the city's building department, said he expected the demolition permit to be approved by early next week.
Weise said asbestos removal would have to take place before demolition work could begin.
"I'm hoping to be into this thing the next five or six working days," he said. "My guess is at the very earliest, we'll be working the middle of next week."
The building on the corner of Carson and Fourth streets was heavily damaged in an April 1998 fire set in a neighboring vacant garage.
City officials wouldn't let Bernard demolish the building without plans to replace the structure.
A plan to create a small, temporary plaza was approved recently by the city. The plaza will measure 80 by 35 feet and will feature benches and small trees in planters which can be removed when a permanent plan for the site is approved.
With the state Legislative Building across the street, Bernard has said he envisions the area as a prime office building location.