Below is the progression from my initial ideas through to where they are now. It's not all that much so far but it's a start.
So this is my first blockout just putting down the basic shapes that I'm thinking about. Just thinking about the larger industrial details and leaving much to the detail on the store fronts until later.
Even at this stage I can see some problems with the composition and general scene. So already I can see that I have to really think about the signs and how much they block the view of the skyline. I also found that I need a stronger focal point closer to the camera as it was feeling drab and bare.
Here is my first revision, as you can see I fixed focal point problem by adding in something close to the camera. Haven't quite figured out what yet, I'm thinking like a small restaurant or something. I've also added a lot more smaller details to give the scene some life.
So again, some more revisions. I think that it needs to be wider, but I'm not sure about this. I'll need to take it into UDK to test scale. I don't want it to be too wide otherwise it'll lose the compact feeling I like. But again I'm having trouble with the skyline. I think it would be good to have the skyline visible as a way to draw the viewers eye in towards the piece but I keep cluttering it up and blocking it.
And here is the layout so far from a more overview. It's still early days and needs a lot of work, but I've got the time to revise it and tune it to a better more realised idea.