Javier Cervera Sr., principal at the Miami real estate brokerage Cervera Real Estate, died on Sunday at home with his family after a battle with cancer. He was 89.
Cervera, a pilot and plantation owner, married Alicia Cervera Sr. in 1954 in Cuba. He was part of the resistance group against Fidel Castro, and was able to leave Cuba after he was tipped off that police officers were on their way to arrest Cervera at his home, according to an obituary provided by the family. The couple fled to Miami in 1961, where their daughters, Veronica and Alicia, who lead Cervera Real Estate today as CEO and managing partner, respectively, were already living with their grandparents. Son Javier Cervera Jr., who is president and CEO of Cervera Real Estate Ventures, was born in 1967.
Javier Sr., a prominent member of Miami’s real estate community, first worked for Maurice Ferre, leading his transportation company. He entered real estate when he and Alicia Sr. purchased a waterfront property on Brickell Avenue. In a 2014 interview, Cervera’s daughter Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, said her parents’ purchase of their first property, getting it rezoned and selling it “helped them get out of the initial shock of arriving in the country with little money in their pockets.”
Cervera also developed the Square Shopping Center in Key Biscayne. Five years ago, Cervera started an aviation trading company called Ameravia Inc.
Andres Asion, broker and owner of Miami Real Estate Group, called Cervera “a mentor and father figure” in a post on Facebook.
A celebration of life mass is planned for Cervera Tuesday morning at St. Theresa Church of the Little Flower that is limited to Cervera associates and staff due to social distancing.