Harris steps down as South Street Headhouse District executive director

The executive director of the South Street Headhouse District has stepped down after 11 years.

Michael Harris announced his intentions on Aug. 24 and said he will remain working with SSHD board chair Rick Millan and assistant director Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman during a transition period until a replacement is named. The board has begun a public search for a new candidate.

Some of Harris’ notable contributions include establishing South Street’s Spring Festival, now called South Street Fest, leading the redesign for the Headhouse Plaza, opening the South Street Off Center, relighting pedestrian lights along the famous avenue and folding the Philadelphia BID Alliance.

“What an incredible 11 years it’s been,” Harris said. “As a longtime resident of Queen Village, the South Street Headhouse District is my community and I’m excited to continue to watch the district grow and flourish with the incredible initiatives and events that are underway.” 

Over his time as executive director, Harris championed economic development programs that support new and existing businesses. He implemented cleaning and maintenance tactics that supplement city services and public safety initiatives geared toward enlivening nightlife corridors. He also helped with beautification and public arts projects as well as a successful calendar of events, activities and family-friendly programming.

And after 30 years of operation, the South Street Headhouse District has managed to find new ways to entertain its residents while serving and supporting small businesses and property owners. Earlier this year, the District launched its incredibly well-received Meet Me On South Street event series that highlights everything South Street has to offer, from farmers markets to night markets and block parties to festivals.

Harris said he still plans on being a part of the festivities and shopping along the district that he helped flourish over the last decade.

“You’ll still find me dining at Lovash Indian and shopping at Headhouse Books,” Harris said. “But I am confident that the extraordinary SSHD team will continue to amplify and develop our fantastic business community.”