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!


Pinecrest front

Full disclosure: The owner of this home is a neighbor of mine who is selling so she can follow her dream all the way to Savannah, Ga. I am terribly sad that she’s leaving our little neighborhood, which, by the way, was recently named one of the best places to live for the younger set by The Dallas Morning News. Part of me, though, is excited to see who will buy this home at 10115 Pinecrest and join our close-knit ‘hood.

Pinecrest Living Pinecrest dining

The owner, who is a designer, has lovingly restored and cared for this amazing little 1950s ranch. It’s a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage with a huge yard — perfect for one or two people and a dog (or two!). It’s in a great little enclave of East Dallas — Casa View Haven, to be exact — that is seeing incredible appreciation. In fact, I was kind of shocked that the owner is listing this adorable house for just $112,000. That is a total bargain, you guys!

Pinecrest Kitchen

What’s great about this house? Well, besides the fact that it’s been impeccably maintained, the kitchen has a few updates, as does the bathroom. A lot of work has been done to this 956-square-foot gem without losing the great architectural details that set this home off from most post-war traditionals as more mid-mod than most. The hardwood floors have been refinished, and there’s new siding, too. Add to all that the proximity to White Rock Lake, Casa Linda Plaza, and tons of great restaurants and shopping just down Peavy Road.

pinecrest master


Pinecrest Bath

In the backyard, there’s tons of room for dogs and people to run around, and if you’ll notice, the breaker box has been moved outside, which is a common code problem with some of the homes in this area, which still have breakers inside closets or near bathrooms. Sure, you could upgrade this home, and it would be a great investment, too.

Pinecrest backyard

What’s most important of all, of course, is that you’ll get the chance to be my neighbor, and be a part of a great area where everyone knows each other and they all look out for their friends. What more could you want?