Dublin City Council is set to take possession of Iveagh Market.
Businessman Martin Keane, planned to create a "Covent Garden style" development.
However, since obtaining planning permission in 2007, he has failed to develop anything at the inner city site.
The council is threatening to change the locks and take possession of the market building by the end of the month.
Councillor Rebecca Moynihan feels this could be of great benefit for the area.
"He's had 20 years to develop it. The time period ran out in August. We need to restore those markets," she said.
"They've fallen into terrible dereliction over the last 20 years. We need to take them back into the City Council and develop them as a market.
"There's a real need for market space over that area. Taking back and developing the Iveagh Markets will be a complete game changer for the Francis Street and Liberties area."