| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The city’s new Chief Development Officer sees the development and growth of the city’s neighborhoods as a major priority for him.
Timothy Sheehan was introduced by Mayor Domenic Sarno at a press conference on June 5. Sheehan is a native of Springfield – having lived in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood – who has been working in Connecticut for the past 17 years. He will be living in the city, Sheehan said.
Sarno said, “Tim brings a wealth of economic development experience and formidable track record of project accomplishments in his Norwalk tenure. From formulating approval and implementing Norwalk’s Urban Economic Development Agenda to overseeing the development of master plans, neighborhood plans and redevelopment plans, Tim’s steady leadership efforts have led to a Norwalk resurgence. I look forward to getting Tim on board to help me continue and enhance my vision and the momentum of our Springfield renaissance.”
Sheehan worked in the office of Mayor Mary Hurley and the City’s Community Development Department from 1989 to 1993. He served as Director of the Community Development Action Grant, under the Executive Office of Communities and Development in Boston from 1994 to 1996, administering a $30 million capital account to leverage public infrastructure to advance private real estate investments. Before he headed the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, Sheehan was the Senior Project Manager, Real Estate Division, for MassDevelopment in Boston. There, he managed major manufacturing and industrial development projects and assisted municipalities in preparing large scale sites for development.
He earned his bachelor of arts in Government at Western New England University and continued trainings and certifications through Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Urban Land Institute, and the National Development Council.
Sheehan told Reminder Publishing that he wanted to make sure neighborhoods have “open spaces and amenities – that the general feels of the neighborhood is right.”
He added he sees already a “great sense of neighborhood cohesiveness.”
He wants to also work to strengthen the city’s housing stock, which he praised. “Look at the bones of it – it’s fantastic.”
Sheehan’s has worked as the executive director of the Norwalk (CT) Redevelopment Agency, where he supervised more than 5 million square feet of development with an estimated value of $700,000,000. He worked on more than 40 development projects that have either been built, are currently under construction, or in the process of being approved.
He said that he looks at economic development projects differently. He wants to answer the question “What is it bringing back to the people?” issues such as building foot traffic in an area or new revenue are among the issues he considers.
Sheehan, who is succeeding Kevin Kennedy in the position, will start July 8.