Currently, the historic Swanner House venue at the Northwest Open Space in San Juan Capistrano sits unused.
That will change after the City Council unanimously approved a license agreement with Frontier Real Estate Investments for short-term operations of the city-owned property.
The city recently chose to negotiate with Frontier—which is ongoing—for long-term overall management of the Northwest Open Space after receiving several proposals from various groups, following a request for applications.
Trevor’s at the Tracks owner and founder Trevor Baird, specifically, will handle special-event operations at the Swanner House. Dan Almquist, who heads up Frontier, is also partnering with local equestrian Kathy Holman on other plans for the Northwest Open Space, which will include a horse-riding component.
A previous license agreement with Hamilton Oaks LLC for the Swanner House for wine tastings and similar events expired in June 2022.
“Their proposal includes the ability to host private and community events, consistent with the operations of the former licensee, Hamilton Oaks,” said Matisse Reischl, assistant to the city manager and director of community services. “The license agreement would require Frontier to repair the property’s HVAC system, electrical and plumbing infrastructure, and irrigation for code compliance, and that would be at Frontier’s sole cost.”
Frontier will be permitted to make “minor cosmetic improvements” to the structure and landscaping enhancements throughout the property, Reischl said.
“That initial term would end December 31, 2026, with two optional one-year extensions with mutual agreements by both parties,” Reischl said.
Frontier taking over maintenance for the Swanner House is also expected to deter nuisance activities at the vacant property.
Under the license agreement, the city would receive a monthly $6,000 license payment commencing on July 1, with an annual Consumer Price Index adjustment capped at 3% applied to the monthly license payments, according to an agenda report.
Councilmember John Taylor recused himself from the vote and discussion due to a financial interest.