What is the SSHD?
The South Street Headhouse District (SSHD) is a vibrant commercial corridor and home to over 400 unique businesses, with some of the best restaurants, retailers, and services in the region. The South Street area is one of the top tourist destinations in Philadelphia, with over one million visitors each year, and is home to the world-renowned Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and historic Fabric Row on 4th Street. South Street’s busy commercial corridor has a long history, from a mix of Jewish merchants at the turn of the nineteenth century, an artists haven in the late sixties and early seventies, a counterculture destination in the eighties and nineties, to the thriving mix of retail stores, restaurants, tattoo shops, galleries and live music venues that today call the area home. South Street has something for everyone.
The South Street Headhouse District Office provides public services to businesses, residents, and property owners in the district. The SSHD oversees South Street from Front Street to 11th Street, and along numbered streets from Lombard to Bainbridge, and down 4th Street from Lombard to Christian Streets. Our mission is the beautification, marketing, safety, cleanliness, and continued improvement of the area. We work diligently to make the South Street area an enjoyable area in which to live, work, and play.
The 1945 Municipality Act legislation made it possible for the creation of Special Services Districts in Philadelphia. Chartered in 1993, the SSHD has marketed and promoted the business community through popular festivals, advertising campaigns, public space improvements, and economic development initiatives.
The SSHD is committed to attracting new entrepreneurs and supporting the retention and growth of existing businesses. As a business service, we act as liaison with the municipality to assist new and existing businesses by overseeing all zoning issues within our district. The SSHD provides key programs to make sure that our streets and sidewalks are safe and clean, including providing for the South Street Police Mini-station, in addition to street cleaning, trash and graffiti removal. The District oversees local capital improvements, from lighting and sidewalk repair to tree planting, public art commissions and more.
What we do for businesses?
As a business service we act as liaison with the municipality to assist new and existing businesses by overseeing all zoning issues within our district to ensure a safe, enjoyable community. The SSHD markets and promotes the business community through popular festivals, advertising campaigns, public space improvements, and economic development initiatives.
What does the District do for me?
The SSHD manages the capital improvement projects in the district, such as the recent 4th Street lighting installation and the proposed Headhouse Plaza improvement. We sponsor and organize events like the Fall Pumpkin Festival, Winter and Spring Festivals, as well as Movies under the Stars, Fashion at the Shambles, and we partner with groups like the Philadelphia Food Trust to bring Farmers’ Markets to the neighborhood. We introduce advertising and marketing campaigns to promote businesses, and we manage street cleaning and improper trash removal. We administer grant programs for property improvements, and initiate public art projects such as the art covering the areas electrical boxes and performances and improvements financed by the Knight Arts Foundation.
What special projects has the District done? and what is in the works?
For more on capital improvements and special projects, click here.