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Where is this at? Nearly all new shopping centers around here secure a core tenant before building, like a large grocery store or department store that’s very likely to succeed. Think Home Depot or Target sized. The ‘available for lease’ signs show up as the construction completes, and fill with pretty generic and common businesses that fit into a busy, boring suburb. These places almost never end up for sale unless the area takes a huge nose dive.
And to answer your question u/gustix, this kind of abandonment is usually because a business failed and the property is not suitable for many(if any) other business without a complete demo and rebuild. Smaller square footage units will usually be re-leased or bought, but massive corporate chains like Walmart usually build new because they get something that fits their business model perfectly. An empty movie theater doesn’t have much use as-is to anything but another movie theater, and an area can only support so many.