A sign is seen in Portland's Riverton neighborhood, near where city leaders hope to build a new homeless shelter. Credit: CBS 13

In a close vote, the Portland City Council decided to build a new homeless shelter on Riverside Street, near Westbrook.

The selected site for the new homeless shelter is in a mostly business and industrial area of Riverside Street.

But the Riverton neighborhood and school are within a mile of the new location.

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Chip Edgar is acting president of the Riverton Community Association.

He believes city leaders and downtown property owners just want the current Oxford Street Shelter closed and moved off the peninsula.

“This is good for them. Their property values are going to go up,” Edgar said. “They’re going to make money on this. I don’t know how this is going to affect my property values.”

[Portland council votes to build new homeless shelter near Riverton]

Dan Bornstein says he has no objections to a homeless shelter being built near his restaurant supply business.

“I think it’s a good plan. I think it’s more space for it,” Bornstein said. “We have the space over here for it. They need a space.”

City leaders say the current shelter, which is aging and overcrowded, is unsafe and unsustainable.

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Riverton resident Brian Carkhuff argues the new shelter will be miles from the services homeless people need.

“I don’t think it makes any sense,” he said. “Why should you pay for extra transportation, extra medical buildings out here, when you got all kinds of buildings right in town?”

The new shelter is still a long way from being built. City councilors say this is just one step in a very long process.