Written by Donald A. Promnitz
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has started to move into their new headquarters after four years of planning.
According to Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright, the office commenced the first phase of their relocation into the Rowell Building on the southeast corner of Tulare Street and Van Ness Avenue, across the street from Courthouse Park in Downtown Fresno. The office will begin with units currently housing offsite locations with active leases and getting out of those locations first. This started on Monday, with the final move scheduled for Dec. 21.
“We’re going to keep our fingers crossed,” Wright said. Obviously, there’s room for things to come up — so as much as we plan and get things lined up, there’s bound to be some sort of wrinkle — but we expect to be in by Christmas.”
The move will see 200 employees coming to work in the historic, 73,000-square-foot building.
A relocation and consolidation has been planned since 2015, when District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp took office and sought to bring all of the DA’s Office employees under one roof. Previously, the attorneys, investigators, support staff and student workers had been scattered and working on three different floors of the Plaza Building, as well as locations on L and M streets.
The Rowell Building is named after Dr. Chester Rowell, a former Fresno mayor, physician and American Civil War veteran, who commissioned its construction shortly before his death in 1912. The size of the building and its close proximity to the courthouse made it the ideal location.
Earlier this year, Fresno County leased the building from Lance-Kashian and started customizing. Wright says that currently, all furniture is in and they are now working on the phones, computers and office equipment.