Michael Strauss

Michael Strauss


Michael founded Vanguard Construction & Development Co., Inc. in 1986, after an apprenticeship at the architectural firm of Lee Harris Pomeroy and managing projects at Ambassador Construction. Trained as an architect, with a degree in Fine Arts, Michael sees construction as an ideal combination of visionary and creative skills, executed in real space and time to the highest standards of quality. From his initial start performing landlord upgrades and building award-winning offices for Fortune 500 firms, Michael constructed flagships and shop-in-shops for clients such as Donna Karan and Barneys New York, soon establishing Vanguard as one of the premier retail contractors in New York City. Performing hospital work, our adherence to strict ICRA protocols at our Mount Sinai Medical Center sites not only earned us their highest rating for safety, but allowed us to build over $100 million of projects, including both their NICU and PICU.

After building out the multi-story Buddakan and turning over a floor to ceiling refurbishment of the Michelin-starred Daniel within only five-weeks, Michael launched Vanguard into high-end hospitality work. Our in-depth understanding of the numerous inspections required to open restaurants have made us expert in this field. Expanding our projects to institutions, such as building a lobby for SUNY F.I.T. on top of a subway, or, an out-of-the-ground, non-profit health center servicing the Queens community, Michael has continued to broaden the range of his company’s expertise. At the start of every project, Michael asks the project team, including the client and consultants, “How can we do this better?”

With over forty plus years of construction experience, Michael is most proud of training everyone at Vanguard to advocate on behalf of our clients with pro-active thinking, professional conduct and exemplary service. At Vanguard, we are constructors who strive for excellence. As Michael says, “We make. We create. We build.”

Michael graduated Cum Laude from CUNY Hunter College with a BA degree in Fine Arts, and also holds a BS degree in Architecture from City College of New York. He is currently a Trustee on the Board of the New York Foundation for Architecture, a Patron of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation and a Board Member of the non-profit organization openhousenewyork.