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Areu Bros. Studios Announces Economic Initiatives

By Steve Harvey. Further build out of the Atlanta-based 57-acre lot will include recording studios.

Atlanta, GA (September 5, 2019)—Areu Bros. Studios, which acquired Tyler Perry’s 57-acre studio lot at the end of 2018, has launched an opportunity zone platform to create jobs and economic growth in the entertainment, technology and real estate industries in Atlanta, Miami, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles.

Ozzie Areu, founder and CEO of Areu Bros., the first major Latino-owned and operated media studio in the US, also announced plans to further develop its production facilities, located in a federal opportunity zone in Georgia’s Fulton County. The 205,751-square-foot Areu Bros. Studios currently include five sound stages, an eleven-home residential backlot, administrative buildings, executive offices, post production facilities, a theater, a commissary and a fitness center. The company plans to build recording studios, sound stages for both short form and long form content and a technology center on 33 acres of undeveloped land at the site.

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Opportunity zones, an effort started by President Obama and enacted into law by President Trump through the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, represent a new marketplace said to be worth approximately $6 trillion. They offer significant tax incentives to long-term equity investors who re-invest their capital gains in businesses and real estate located in designated low-income communities throughout the US.

Steve Glickman, one of the architects of the Qualified Opportunity Zone program and a former senior economic advisor to President Obama, has joined the Areu Bros. team together with fellow Obama advisor Andrés W. López. They will work alongside Areu Bros. president Kim Leadford and Gloria Estefan, a partner and an executive with the company since mid-2018.

With this opportunity zone announcement, Areu Bros. becomes “the first film and television studio to join this fast-growing socially conscious program,” according to a statement from the company. “Areu Bros.’ mandate is to support and nurture minority and women storytellers as well as innovators and creators by driving inclusion, culture and diversity across every facet of its ecosystem through finance, media and tech expertise,” it adds.

The entertainment vertical of the Areu Bros.’ opportunity zone platform will reportedly focus on motion pictures, television, short form content and music, as well as ancillary efforts in gaming, stage plays, publishing and merchandise. The technology vertical will operate under the name Ventures. The third leg of the stool, a real estate vertical, intends to support creative communities by providing physical infrastructure for creators and collaborators.

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Ozzie Areu, who was president of Tyler Perry Studios for 12 years before acquiring the campus with his brother, Will Areu, for a reported $18.5 million, recently acquired Endavo Media and Communications Inc., an OTT video distribution software company.

Ozzie Areu’s first job in the industry was as a security guard at the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. After working as an executive assistant to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston then Ellen Degeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, he was hired as an executive assistant by Tyler Perry and promoted to president after just 18 months.

Areu Bros. Studios •