La Epoca - founded 1885 in Havana, Cuba - began operations as a small fabric store on the streets of downtown Havana. In 1927, Diego Alonso and his brother Angel - two immigrants from Spain - purchased the store with the dreams of turning it into the most premiere retail store in Havana. As the two men had set out to do, La Epoca continued to grow into a major shopping destination.
In 1954 after the completion of a new building on the corner of Galiano and Neptuno, La Epoca was the third largest department store in Havana, employing over 400 persons and spanning 5 floors.
In 1960 during political turmoil on the streets of Cuba, the newly formed Castro government in a hostile encounter confiscated the store in Havana. Having lost everything he had worked for, Diego Alonso relocated his family to Miami to start new again.
In 1965, La Epoca opened its doors again in downtown Miami in a small corner in the Alfred I DuPont Building. No stranger to growth, Diego Alonso and his sons expanded the store to nearly the entire ground floor of the building. This new department store contained an upscale boutique for women and its own electronic department, in addition to men’s women’s and children’s wear and shoes.
On December 18, 2005, La Epoca opened up its doors for the first time at 200 East Flagler Street in the Historic Walgreens Building, using 20,000 square feet of this building that it owned. On November 15, 2016, La Epoca closed its retail operations after 51 years of operations in downtown Miami in order to shift its business model to real estate holdings, and away from retail operations.
Today La Epoca Properties invests in real estate opportunities across the southeast United States.
Antonio Alonso at La Epoca in Alfred I. DuPont Building in 1980