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!

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Jessica Holland and Beverly Cardenas are The Uptown Girls.

Beverly Cardenas and Jessica Holland are the Dallas Uptown Girls. These two are experts in getting their clients the best rentals on the market in the Uptown, downtown, and surrounding areas.

For today’s “Love it, Lease it” feature, these super savvy apartment locators answered a few questions we threw their way on how to get the rental you want in Dallas.

Jo: What advice do you usually give clients who are looking for a rental? Are there any tried-and-true tips that you find yourself telling everyone?

Beverly and Jessica: 1. If you absolutely love it, don’t sit on it. It can get leased as soon as you walk out the door.

2. If you have several options you are considering and just cannot narrow it down, we suggest building an Excel spreadsheet to visually lay out your pros and cons.

3. Don’t completely omit a property just because of a few negative online reviews.

4. Start your apartment search around 60 days out from your move date. At this time, properties should know if they will have availability for your time frame. Any earlier could be a waste of time.

Jo: What developments or properties are most popular with your clientele? Additionally, what neighborhoods do your clients gravitate toward?

Beverly and Jessica: Many of our clients gravitate toward Post properties because of their great location. They own a number of properties along McKinney Avenue and neighboring State Thomas. This area give residents the convenience of The Mckinney Avenue Trolley, walking to restaurants and nightlife, and Katy Trail access.

Jo: In Uptown and the surrounding areas, are there any blocks or types of development where you see the most growth?

Beverly and Jessica: We’re seeing a lot of growth in the Design District right now. Dallas’ newest high rise, 1400 Hi Line, opened its doors in July and will house dining and retail on the first level of the building. Granted, we may be a bit biased because we both actually live in the neighborhood ourselves, but there’s always something fun to do. There’s Food Truck Wednesday, Four Star restaurants in walking distance, art galleries, and if you have a pet you’ll love all the greenery and landscaping. There’s another property currently being constructed on the west side of the neighborhood, and there’s rumor of a bowling alley in the near future.

Jo: What are people looking for in a rental right now? Luxury? Space? Accessibility? Walkability?

Beverly and Jessica: A walkable location is at the top of the list for most of our clients. The idea of being able to step outside their apartment, grab coffee while walking the dog, and return later for a mimosa, is priceless.

Jo: Tell us about your most memorable transaction/client.

Beverly and Jessica: We had a couple that contacted us from Kansas City and were looking to relocate to Dallas. They weren’t relocating because of a new job or family that lived here. They just wanted to try something new! They had visited Dallas once before and loved it. Neither had a job yet, but did have a lot of faith in the new chapter they were about to take on. A few months later I was headed to dinner in Uptown and saw the couple with friends hoping onto the trolley heading for a night out. It was satisfying to see our clients enjoying themselves in a city in which they knew nothing about.

Additionally, we relocated more than 20 teachers from Spain to Dallas this summer. The majority of them had never been in the US and were here to work for DISD. It was pretty awesome to help someone brand new to the US.