Construction of the new apartment building on Fifth Avenue in Burns Lake. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)

Construction of the new apartment building on Fifth Avenue in Burns Lake. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake restaurateur’s newest venture to address housing needs in community

Local restaurateur Babbi Singh is set to make a significant impact on the community as he expands his business endeavours into construction and real estate. With plans underway to construct two fourplexes on 435 Fifth Ave in Burns Lake, Singh aims to alleviate the pressing housing shortage faced by the town. These new developments will complement the existing fourplex building already owned by Singh on the same property.

“It’s truly a win-win situation for Burns Lake. Our new housing construction projects will address the pressing housing shortage. The existing infrastructure is aging and in need of repair, which isn’t very easy to come by,” said Singh.

Singh anticipates that these eight two-bedroom apartments spread across the two fourplexes will have rental units as well as units for sale.

However, this endeavour has not been without its share of challenges. A notable obstacle he faces is the scarcity of local contractors and tradespeople to carry out the construction work. The limited availability of skilled labour has necessitated Singh to recruit workers from neighbouring cities such as Prince George. Despite this hurdle, Singh is determined to complete the project by the end of this year.

“I am hoping this project will be part of a much-needed solution to the scarcity of accommodation that has stalled the growth of various sectors. We’ve witnessed businesses closing down due to the lack of available staff, and it’s clear that without proper housing, people are hesitant to come and contribute to our community,” said Singh.

In an effort to enhance the living experience for future residents, Singh envisions transforming the new apartment complex into a gated community with additional amenities and ample parking space included.

Looking ahead, Singh has already identified his next project: the construction of a single-storey senior housing facility on 1st Ave. This initiative is driven by the increasing demand for specialized housing options tailored to meet the unique needs of senior residents.

“The lack of housing for seniors in our village is a significant problem that cannot be ignored. Many seniors are currently facing extended waiting periods, desperately seeking suitable housing options. This is a matter that deeply concerns me, and I am determined to make a difference,” Singh said, adding, “I firmly believe in the potential for Burns Lake to flourish and thrive. By creating these new housing options, we are setting the stage for the village’s betterment and growth.”