By Rachel Wulff

CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — A proposed change to a commercial Carmichael property has neighbors raising their eyebrows.

“So would you want this across the street from you?” asked Sandra Morey.

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Those who live near 4748 Engle Drive in Carmichael are weighing in on a proposed change of use for this commercial property. The owner wants to turn office space into residential.

Sandra Morey lives directly across from it.

“Their main concern in my eyes is to make the money, which I understand as a business, but so are we. This house is our investment,” said Morey.

The plan is to put in 18 market-rate apartments: 3-2-1 bedroom floorplans and more than half a dozen studio units as small as 458 square feet.

But given the number of people who could live there, neighbors worry the project is too large for the lot.

“The parking is going to end out on the street,” Morey said.

It’s an issue that could be coming to a neighborhood near you, experts say.

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“I think we’ll see more proposals based on supply and demand,” said Greg Aguirre with Capital Rivers Commercial.

Aguirre specializes in real estate development. With more people working at home during the pandemic, he thinks it makes dollars and sense for this Class C office space.

“They’re looking at the economic equation: I can rent it as a residential unit and get twice as much rent,” he said.

Aguirre doesn’t see all office spaces changing to residential after the pandemic, but they may need renovation, given people’s preference now for more individual office space versus an open concept.

And then there’s the legal costs and environmental review associated with a change of use.

“On paper, it might look great, but in reality, it’s a challenge and I don’t think a lot of people understand that,” he said.

Neighbors worry no renovations will be made and what kind of tenants will move in.

“We’ve made plenty of suggestions which they were not accepting any of them,” said Morey.

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We contacted the developer Wang Brothers Investments out of Alameda County but have not heard back from them. The county supervisors will vote on Tuesday.