Top 5 Affordable Downtown Dallas Studio Rentals Sizzle in Super-Hot Market

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The exterior of the Kirby Building on main. This converted Gothic building has fantastic apartments with great views.
The Kirby Building on Main is a converted Gothic historic property full of apartments with great views. Photo: Kirby Residences on Main

Ashley D. Stanley has positioned herself to be the go-to expert locator for downtown Dallas apartment rentals. She’s a real estate broker and owner of Ashley’s Apartments, an apartment locator service specializing in downtown and nearby areas.

Stanley lives, works, and plays in downtown, and considers herself one of its biggest fans.

“I live at 1900 Elm historical lofts next to Main Street Garden and have an office space out of the Pacific Place building next door, where my commute is through the skywalk, but with the birth of my son this past year I moved everything to my home office,” she said. “I moved my office from Park Cities in July 2013 right after I found out I was pregnant. I knew the downtown market was on the rise.”

Stanley was right: apartments in downtown can hardly get built fast enough to satisfy demand.

“The market is hot, hot, super hot,” she said. “New buildings are popping up and units are being pre-leased, meaning you might go to a showroom, see a spread of photos for their unique finish out, cabinetry, kitchen appliances, flooring, etc. and you are offered a great move in rate with maybe a few free weeks if you sign within 24 to 48 hours.”

But with high demand comes higher rents, and many people feel challenged by the task of finding affordable lease in downtown. So we sat down with Stanley and got her recommendations for the top five least expensive studio apartment rentals in downtown Dallas. Jump to read about these five fantastic places and her tips for snagging a lease!

Looking up at 1900 Elm. Photo: 1900 Elm
Looking up at 1900 Elm. Photo: 1900 Elm

The time is right for leasing one of these five downtown buildings, and studio rents currently run ballpark $1,000 to $1,100 a month (rates change daily, Stanley says).

“People should expect to see rates rise as the spring is upon us—if you are looking for an apartment, the best time to lease is before spring break,” she said. “It seems after that, apartments experience a lot of interest and vacancies become scarce, therefore demand affects pricing.”

Stanley says to do your research beforehand and come prepared to make a decision.

“If you like what you see, know that if you leave someone is right behind you who will gladly take it,” she said. “You might think you can get a better deal somewhere else, so you go there and come back only to find it’s gone. Bring your ID, checkbook, and last three consistent and current pay stubs. What could it hurt if you put a holding deposit down? Then if you don’t find that deal somewhere else, you’ve got a backup secured.”

So without further ado, here are her top 5 most affordable picks for downtown studio apartment rentals.


1. INTERURBAN BUILDING, 1500 Jackson St.

Photo: Interurban Building
Photos: Interurban Building

Located on Jackson Street in the Government District between S. Akard and S. Ervay streets, the nine-story Interurban Building is right in the heart of downtown Dallas. It was built in 1916 as the Interurban Building Train Station, created to accommodate 35 interurban trains at one time. Today, is home to 134 lofts for rent and had the first grocery store in downtown in many years, Urban Market.

Interurban interior

Interurban pool

The smallest studio is 482 square feet, but many are in the 500- to 600-square-foot range. The units have 11- to 15-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, exposed ductwork, and modern kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite counters.

With a Walk Score of 95, this location is a walker’s paradise and is close to the Dallas Arts District, Dallas Farmers Market, Mantus Ultra Lounge, and restaurants like Fuze Japan and Iron Cactus.

The building amenities include a fitness facility, resident lounge, storage areas, and a modern outdoor area with swimming pool, hot tub, lounge, barbecue grill, fire pit, and covered patio.


2. THE WILSON, 1800 Main St.

Photo: The Wilson
Photos: The Wilson

The Wilson was built in 1904 by a wealthy Dallas cattleman and modeled after the Paris Grand Opera House in a French Renaissance/Beaux Arts style. It was the first eight-story building in Texas, and originally housed the Titche-Goettinger department store on the bottom floor, with offices on the upper floors. In 1911, Sanguinet & Staats built a twelve-story annex to the building, which was raised five floors in 1957.

Wilson bedroom

Wilson living room

The location is fabulous, between S. Ervay and South St. Paul streets, and today, the Wilson houses 135 apartments and penthouses. They offer four open loft-style studio floorplans, ranging in size from 544 to 690 square feet. Many even have original doors with glass panels.

The Wilson has a Walk Score of 100, meaning everything you need is nearby on foot, and it is located near the Dallas Chop House, Cane Rosse, Main Street Garden Park, and a ton of hip bars.

Units feature original wood, concrete, and mosaic flooring, exposed ductwork and ceilings, and newly renovated kitchens. Building amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, theater room with oversized screen and leather recliners, a rooftop deck with informal seating areas and misting fans, and access to the Mercantile Place pool deck and amenities.


3. DALLAS POWER & LIGHT FLATS, 222 Browder St.

Photos: DPL Flats
Photos: DPL Flats

Built in 1931, the Dallas Power and Light complex is an Art Deco American style eighteen-story building that is listed as a City of Dallas Historical Landmark. With a black marble base and brick and terra cotta trim for rest of the façade, it cuts a striking profile in the area. The building is located near the intersection of Commerce and S. Ervay streets and was reincarnated in 2005 as the Dallas Power & Light Flats residential development.

DPL Flats interior

The smallest space in DPL Flats it just under 700 square feet, and units include polished concrete or Terrazzo floors, full size washer/dryer connections or stacked washer/dryers furnished in some units, and balconies or private terraces in select units. Kitchens have stainless steel appliances, built-in islands, hardwood cabinets with custom pulls, and solid granite counters.

Building amenities include a 12,000 square foot roof garden with a resort-style pool and hot tub, a 24-hour fitness center, and reserved parking with direct elevator access.

The location has a Walk score of 95, and is close lots of fun places, including Stephan Pyles, Belo Garden, the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, as well as an active nightlife scene.



Photos: Kirby Residences on Main
Photos: Kirby Residences on Main 

Famed brewer Adolphus Busch built this seventeen-story Gothic building and tower in 1913 as office and retail space to accompany the nearby Adolphus Hotel. Originally called the Busch building and known as the “Old Girl,” the space has been reborn into the Kirby Residences on Main, 157 urban lofts and apartments.

kirby interior B

Kirby spa

The Kirby offers three studio floorplans ranging from 508 to 580 square feet, and apartments have 11-foot ceilings, great skyline views, washer-dryer connections, original hardwood floors, and structural concrete ceilings with exposed ductwork.

Building amenities include a rooftop pool and spa, outdoor kitchen with cabana, a fitness studio, climate-controlled storage units, and assigned parking in a six-level private garage.

The location has a Walk Score of 95 and is close to Main Street Garden Park, the Dallas Arts District, Dallas Farmers Market, The French Room, and Thrive Nightclub.


5. 1900 ELM, 1900 Elm St.

Photos: 1900 Elm
Photos: 1900 Elm

Built in 1929 as the Titche-Goettinger Building, 1900 Elm still maintains historical and architectural appeal. This Renaissance Revival building has Art Deco detailing inside and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Today, 1900 Elm has 129 loft-style residential apartments starting at 494 square feet, and each floorplan is unique and designed around original architectural elements.

1900 Elm interior loft view

Some units feature original arched windows, some have floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the building’s open-air atrium, and others include original 15-foot columns adorned by ornate Art Deco crown molding, as well as authentic casement windows.

Building amenities include an underground parking garage, fitness center, and a community game room.  Some units have washer-dryer connections and balconies, as well.

The location has a walk score of 97, and is across the street from the Main Street Garden, and close to the Dallas Arts District, nightlife, and restaurants listed above.

So what do you think of these affordable downtown Dallas loft listings? Could they lure you to downtown living? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!



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Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a content and social media specialist, as well as a Dallas native, who lives in Richardson with her family. In her sixth-grade yearbook, Leah listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for

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  1. brandon martin says

    The main picture is the Adolphus Hotel, not the Kirby. Also, one of my pictures is used for 1900 Elm, the 2nd one, which is from the penthouse. That’s ok though. But I do agree with this list.

  2. mmJoanna England says

    Great list of affordable buildings! I looked at the Wilson when we were considering a move downtown, but a craftsman cottage rental with a huge front porch stole our hearts. Maybe we’ll move downtown when our son is a bit older!

  3. Kara Humphrey says

    Hi Ashley,

    Do you happen to know if any of these offer 3 month leases, and what kind of price range to expect with that?!

    Thank you!!

    • mmJoanna England says

      Hi Betsy! We suggest you contact Ashley Stanley of as she knows downtown well and can help you find what you’re looking for. Good luck!

  4. Barrett says

    We have a small (65 unit) property that is in North Oak Cliff just on the other side of the Houston St Viaduct from downtown. The new DART Streetcar stops very near our front door and goes to Methodist Hospital and into downtown (and soon into Bishop Arts). We have 1/1 units available for move in right now at $825/month including all utilities. The link is below with photos and a description

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