Renovations on D.A.'s office at 201 Poplar nearly complete

Renovations at 201 Poplar nearly complete

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Commissioners received a big update Wednesday regarding renovations at 201 Poplar.

Officials announced that the District Attorney's office is set to move into their new space next month.

The renovation of 201 Poplar is a 10-year project with a price tag of up to $70 million.

The DA's office has previously raised safety concerns with the county over one of their soon-to-be old locations in the building.

Safety is a focus as Shelby County D.A. Amy Weirich's office is weeks away from a massive move.

“After 35 plus years of being on the third floor of 201 Poplar we are starting a brand-new world on the 11th floor,” said Chief Administrative Officer Scott Sharpe with SCDAG.

Crews are putting finishing touches on this office space on the 11th floor of 201 Poplar, the former home of Memphis police.

Currently some of Weirich's prosecutors have offices near courtrooms on the lower level of the building with virtually no protected space.

Last year she wrote a letter to county leaders citing multiple assaults of her staffers that occurred because of the existing layout.

“Someone could be followed from court right into their office with no barriers,” Sharpe said. The DA's office will move to all of the 11th floor with temporary offices on the 12th floor. They'll eventually occupy the full 10th floor, as well.

The county is renovating the justice complex in 10 phases. All courtrooms and offices will be updated and equipped with reliable WIFI and better audio-visual technology. “The modernization of it, making it more high-tech is the priority,” Sharpe said. Memphis police moved from 201 Poplar to the old state office building two years ago. That freed up two floors for other offices who were starved for space.

“We have two vacant floors today,” said Shelby County Public Works Director Tom Needham. “When the renovation is complete, they'll be totally full again.”

As for security, the DA’s office says the sheriff's office has added additional staff to the area and cameras have also been located outside 201 Poplar.

Their new offices will also require fingerprint access for staff to enter secure areas.

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