Amenities abound for residents of Cobb’s newest adult living community.
By Jennifer Morrell
Located in Acworth, Holbrook Life is the result of decades of design and planning. The operators of this active, robust senior living community have a mission of offering unmatched customer service to all residents, at all ages. And with an amenity structure that includes a full-service spa and restaurants open to the public, designer cottages and residences, the development is truly suited to any age demographic.
Within walking distance of Lake Acworth and the city’s downtown area, Holbrook Acworth is a $100-million development campus with 181 apartment residences and 26 cottages. All dwellings offer active adult living, and one-third of these living spaces already are reserved. The community has no age restrictions, so reserved residents begin in their late 50’s and early 60’s. The seven-acre campus includes Dogwood Forest Acworth, built four years ago, and encompasses 92 assisted and memory care residences.
“Our communities are buildings of light and hope,” says Al Holbrook, founder and chairman of Holbrook. “We offer numerous ways to stay employed, develop businesses for young adults in our small business incubation center, or be a first responder in our disaster relief program.”
Holbrook says the development has 45-year-old couples considering the environment as well as work/study college students. “We no longer use any of the negative terms that come with aging,” he says. “Our terms are ‘inspired living for memory impairment,’ ‘enriched living for assisted living’ and ‘active, passionate living for independent living.’”
Holbrook management takes the hiring process seriously, since associates set the stage for hospitality. Each prospective associate is given a hospitality test, goes through background screening, and one-on-one interviews to test his or her personality in a hospitality workplace. The staff is encouraged to help residents find a sense of connection that can be difficult to achieve — a connection to each other, to the community, and to their families.
Mr. Holbrook and his team believe the most powerful tool for a life of happiness is hospitality and serving others.
Reasons to Love Holbrook Acworth
Holbrook Life upholds the needs of customers and families through an emphasis on well-being, hopefulness and encouragement of individual expression, and the incorporation of three simple principles:
Continually researching and implementing new programs that deliver the highest possible quality of life for residents, including opportunities for rejuvenation and well-being.
Delivering the best in hospitality to residents and families 24 hours a day with services that excel in the marketplace.
Understanding that residents and their families entrust the staff and management with a position of responsibility, which is upheld by providing a truly memorable and fulfilling experience at each community. Their motto is that God only gives us now to make an eternal impression of being a servant and providing five-star hospitality.
Philosophies are important, but the actual design of the property is crucial as well. Holbrook Acworth is packed with amenities and benefits. “We have spent decades developing a design that is timeless and listens to customers,” Holbrook says. “This includes state-of-the-art architecture, such as a full building water filtration system, UV lighting in the common HVAC system to kill viruses, negative ion emission to lift moods, and a saltwater pool to lower the toxicity to chlorine.”
Other special considerations include oversized commercial kitchens for regular events open to the public, porches and balconies on every residence for fresh air and sunlight, pocket and French doors to save space, wireless and security systems to provide a high level of bandwidth and security, and half-bathrooms in one-bedroom residences for guests and spouses. Upgraded offerings in kitchens include wine chillers, backsplashes, under-cabinet lighting, and laundry in closets for ergonomic efficiency.
Common spaces in the community offer a wide variety of services, allowing individuals and families to congregate or find niches for privacy. Three-bedroom residences are available in our cottages with about 50 percent of active living units being two-bedroom layouts. The square footage levels are unsurpassed. Cottage ceilings tower to 24 feet.
The value of family takes the front seat, and that is reflected in the property’s design elements. “In our design process, special attention was given to the visiting families of our residents,” says Dan Needle, development partner, Solomon Development. “We have created an environment where it is easy for residents to entertain family, grandchildren, and friends without ever leaving the community.”
This environment includes an onsite, 10-foot waterfall feeding into a large, natural fish pond. The community also boasts a private bocce ball court, private dining rooms, a secluded wine cellar venue, an outdoor fire pit seating area, an outdoor entertainment pavilion with a full bar and grilling amenities, a billiards room, an outdoor concert venue, an oversized saltwater fish tank, and a Center for the Performing Arts.
“We have the most robust amenity offerings in the industry,” Holbrook says. “From our one-of-a-kind hydrotherapy, small business incubation center, creative art studio, Tesla and Land Rover Discovery transportation, and ‘Holbrook in Love’ match-making service, to our wine cellar, pet spa, café and market, and intergenerational gaming center, we continue to listen to customer needs and desires.”
This is a communal living environment that loves to live and keeps on giving.
A paramount and deliberate design element is human interaction, which according to Mr. Holbrook, is imperative. “Numerous studies have proven that loneliness is associated with depression and higher incidence and prevalence rates of illness,” he says. “We combine technology and human interaction, but emphasize offerings for our customers to know each other and enjoy special friendships through travel with ‘Holbrook Expeditions,’ dinner club in the wine cellar, art and book club, events in the Performing Arts Center and many other activities.”
Holbrook says he enjoys taking these trips with residents to underserved but beautiful locations, giving back to the local population by building homes, working on sanitation systems or taking care packages.
Holbrook Acworth meets all requirements for the American with Disabilities Act, with special focus on the provision of accessibility for all individuals and their abilities to experience and participate in all activities and functions of the community. It is building a community of active adults and using techniques such as hydrotherapy and wellbeing training to re-build physical, mental, and spiritual attributes to change lives and re-build or extend quality of life.
Why Cobb Works
Holbrook says Cobb County is a special place for him. “Cobb County is where we had our first home and all three of our daughters were born,” he says. “Cobb County also is progressive, diverse, and has one of the best infrastructures and controlled growth practices in Atlanta.”
The county was attractive to developers because of a limited number of these types of communities, growth factors and infrastructure, as well as a government structure that promotes seamless development and a “can-do” attitude. Holbrook and Needle credit Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood and the City of Acworth for more than a decade of the cooperation needed to bring a total active living campus to downtown Acworth. “Cobb County and the City of Acworth were an obvious fit for our product line,” Needle says. “The quality of life that the county and city offer is unbeatable. Having the lake and all its amenities, the historic downtown, numerous surrounding parks and walking trails, quality shopping and restaurants, all in our backyard, along with the close proximity to I-75 and top-notch medical care and services made this location an obvious choice.”
“[City officials] truly understand the rapidly changing needs of their constituents and have gone out of their way to help facilitate quality housing options for the rapidly growing senior population,” Needle added.
“We are working with Kennesaw State University to promote work/study programs for students and permanent employment,” Holbrook says. “The immense, natural recreational outlets of parks, Kennesaw Mountain and lakes are a real asset to our customers. We will continue to support the county in its efforts to become one of the best living and work environments in the United States.”