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Villas at Canterfield brings high-end hotel style to assisted living in Forsyth



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Tonya Holbrook, of Villas at Canterfield, leads a tour of the $15 million facility in Cumming. Aldo Nahed. (click for larger version)

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Aldo Nahed. (click for larger version)

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Win Porter is behind the Villas at Canterfield model that borrows style and service from the hotel industry. Aldo Nahed. (click for larger version)

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Shan Rohan is the food service director at the Villas at Canterfield. Aldo Nahed. (click for larger version)
October 16, 2012
CUMMING, Ga. — The Villas at Canterfield idea is something that evolved not from a model similar to other assisted living facilities, but from hotels.

Win Porter, founder and president of Medical Development, said he wanted to take Canterfield's Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) image and brand and model it after a high-end hotel.

"Right now, most assisted living facilities are a medical model," Porter said. "This is a social model. I wanted to take the hospitality part of a hotel and put it into senior housing."

The main building is a 65,000-square-foot independent living senior apartment building with 73 units and assisted living facility. The facility will also house about 20 residents who need memory care and are in different stages of dementia.

Canterfield offers an in-house gourmet chef, a nail and hair salon, a spa, a gym, physical therapy room, a movie theater and a library.

Shan Rohan, the food service director at the facility, said his cuisine will bring a high level of country club-style food to assisted living. Rohan said he will bring new ideas to familiar dishes.

"It's more than ordinary food," Rohan said. "They still want their comfort food, their fried chicken, but it's how I can bring that fried chicken, so it's not just a southern-style meal."

Rohan, of Louisiana, said having a dining experience at Canterfield will be like dining out at an expensive restaurant. He will serve up variety from seasonal and regional menus.

"Once a month, I plan on doing theme dinners; a taste of Italy, a taste of France or a taste of New Orleans," Rohan said. "I will also have the dining room decorated to that theme."

Under development are 10 duplex villas with 20 units in a park-like setting, which will take up about 130,000 square feet in the 12-acre property.

"It's for people who need a little more space than a senior apartment," said Porter. "We have a higher caregiver ratio than the state requires."

Porter, who built the Ivy Hall assisted living facility in Alpharetta in 1998, said he knew the Forsyth County area had a need for a facility like Canterfield.

Porter wants to expand the model in Tennessee, Alabama, Florida and throughout Georgia.

"I'm bringing in a much higher caliber staff than probably anybody has seen in any of the assisted livings," Porter said.

The hotel atmosphere of the facility, from its ambiance to food, drew lots of interest from potential residents during a recent open house held Oct. 6.

Another way the senior residents will remain active is by getting out and about.

A bus plans to take residents at Canterfield on day trips, with activities including downtown sight-seeing tours.

"It's different from what people typically see," Porter said. "The activities are what we are trying to push here."

For more information, visit www.thevillasatcanterfield.com or call 770-888-4929.

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