A councillor welcomed the plans, saying they will serve the town's ageing population and replace a "dour" patch of land in Stafford Street.
Derelict industrial buildings and a flat will be demolished to make way if the proposal by The Planning Bureau is approved by Shropshire Council's planners. The applicant said the old buildings are "out of character with the area and impose a constraint on the site".
They are set to be replaced by a block of age-restricted retirement flats, 28 of them with one bedroom and 22 with two, and four non-age-restricted town houses.
The site will include 46 car parking spaces, landscaped gardens and a communal lounge area.
Roy Aldcroft, a councillor on both Market Drayton Town Council and Shropshire Council, said: "I was very pleased to see this application come in.
"Retirement homes are desperately needed, with an expected 44 per cent rise in the over 65s in this area in the next 20 years.
"To see a green landscaped development on land previously used for vehicle repairs, car sales and double glazing firms will be a very pleasant change from what was a dour industrial patch of the town.
"This will also provide accommodation close to all of the town amenities giving local retailers an opportunity to service what will be a new community in the town.
"It’s also good news for families looking for housing as it will free up larger properties as people take the opportunity to downsize."
Documents submitted to the council said the new buildings will consist of red brick, grey concrete roofs and timber doors, and that the project would preserve the "strong character" of Market Drayton's town centre.
The one person who currently lives in the existing flat will be re-housed in a new flat converted from part of 36 Stafford Street.
The application says that one person would be employed full time at the complex as a manager, down from the equivalent of two and a half full time jobs that exist there now.
A statement submitted with the application said: "The applicant’s retirement living product range is aimed at providing independent low maintenance, safe and secure living for the elderly, with the benefit of an on-site manager, a sense of community, communal lounge and proximity to local amenities.
"The location is seen as being of high quality, and the 50 apartments in the scheme will be finished to a suitably high standard. The apartments will be a mixture of one bedroom and two bedrooms in size. In addition, four town houses will also be built on the Stafford Street frontage, and will be offered for sale on the open market.
"The site is within the historic urban core of Market Drayton. In its semi-derelict state it is considered to be a hindrance to the town centre, blighting the neighbouring properties and views.
"With all necessary facilities within the town centre area, ranging from shops to community buildings/services, places for employment and worship, this location is highly sustainable, and appropriate for residential use for elderly persons."
Standard consultation on the plans is open until July 26, and the deadline for a decision to be made is October 2. To view them and comment, visit Shropshire Council's online planning portal and search for 19/02964/FUL.