Liverpool City Council has voted to serve a Compulsory Purchase Order on landowners on Great Homer Street to support a £150m development by St Modwen.
However, St Modwen said it is keen to negotiate arrangements with occupiers in the area and has been in discussions for the past year.
Chris Fox, project director at St Modwen, said: "By starting in advance of the official CPO, we intended to make the process smoother by gaining an early understanding of people's requirements.
"Last year, we purchased four industrial estates in the north of the city to provide possible relocation options for industrial occupiers that are likely to be affected by the plans for Great Homer Street. By making this £10m investment we have shown that we are keen to ensure that existing businesses have the opportunity to move to suitable alternative accommodation with the area.
"This will help businesses make seamless transitions to new premises and allow us to move ahead with our plans for a new and improved Great Homer Street."
Outline planning was granted in late 2007 for a health centre, a library, residential units and a retail centre that includes a 115,000 sq ft food superstore – the largest in Liverpool.
Work is currently planned to begin on site in summer 2009. The retail section will be the first phase of the development and will be followed by two residential phases. It is expected that the project will be completed by 2012.