Potential shelters waiting for market day and bigger and better times.
City markets were planned but were unsuccessful. In the short term, the developers had no commonsense at all. Out of town consultants? No local knowledge? But the council was a player! Perhaps, it takes a large population and a critical mass to support some ventures.
We have seen this before in the city. Ideas are developed as a tax dodge or whatever - "we tried hard and failed" type of thing. Several restaurants are up to something as well.