Off Campus Housing

KCAI is located in a residential neighborhood called Southmoreland, noted for tree-lined streets, large homes and many six-plex-style apartment buildings from the 1920s.

Students seeking off-campus housing are encouraged to take time and ask questions before signing a rental agreement. KCAI wants you to have a living experience that supports your life as a student, and while there many good apartment living situations, there are also ones to avoid. We want you to move in with confidence. Your living situation should not distract you from your academic pursuits. No matter where you live, you must play an active role in your personal safety and in fulfilling your responsibilities as a renter. 

About 40 percent of our students live in the Southmoreland neighborhood. When looking online or in newspaper listings for apartments or houses to rent near KCAI, there are specific areas to look for. Our neighborhood is often referred to as "the art gallery area," because two major art museums bracket our campus. Other neighborhoods within a half-mile radius of KCAI include Plaza/Brush Creek, West Plaza/State Line, Roanoke, Westport, Valentine and UMKC/Rockhurst. Students with their own cars often live in the following neighborhoods, which are located three to five miles from campus:  Brookside, Shawnee Mission, Union Hill, the River Market area, the West Bottoms and Hyde Park. 

Beginning your search 

About a month before you're ready to move to Kansas City, we strongly recommend you plan a two- to five-day visit to look for housing. We suggest you plan on moving to Kansas City at least two weeks before classes start to allow time to settle in. During the summer, July is usually the best time to look for off-campus housing, but by mid-July you have to move fast because that's when a lot of college students return to Kansas City.

It's best to do a lot of the legwork over the phone before you arrive in Kansas City. Set up as many appointments as possible with property managers so that you can make the best use of limited time during your search.

Allow yourself several days to contact property managers/realtors. Often you will get answering machines, but don't let this discourage you. Leave your name and phone number, and be sure to mention that you are a student at KCAI. Leave specific times letting them know when they can call you back. Remember, if you are planning to do your search on a weekend, you must contact the apartment managers prior to your visit, because their offices are closed on the weekends. However, they can usually arrange to have someone meet you.

Managers usually know about 30 days in advance what they will have available. They may not be able to predict what they will have available if you are inquiring too early, so attempting to rent a place in May or June for the fall semester may be pointless unless you are prepared to pay rent throughout the summer.

Apartment managers typically will not reserve apartments for anyone. Although it can be understandably difficult for you to make a special trip to Kansas City to find an apartment, we strongly advise that you do not just show up right before the beginning of the semester without anywhere to live. If you're coming from a long distance and are unable to plan your living arrangements in advance, we suggest you plan on having a roommate. Many KCAI students share apartments or houses for safety and financial reasons. This is an ideal arrangement for someone not familiar with Kansas City who is arriving in late August. People who arrive late and plan to live alone have a difficult time finding a place, and it can get quite expensive when you have fewer options.

Apartment buildings close to campus

Chequers – 4233 Walnut

One and two bedrooms
Contact: 913-424-2248
The Chequers is owned by Kansas City Art Institute and managed by The Orion Property Group. The complex is reserved solely for student use. 

4132-34 Warwick Boulevard

2 bedrooms; hardwood floors; miniblinds; ceiling fans; laundry facilities; off-street parking; secured building
No dogs – other pets welcome
Contact:  Don; 816-838-3918

4104 Warwick Blvd.

Studios and one bedroom
Secured entrance, phone entry system, tobacco free, parking lot and laundry room.
Contact: Vicki Vance; 816-561-4230

Villa La Paz

4335 Oak St. (near Mineral Hall)
Contact: 816-931-4114

Roanoke West Apartments – 4440 Roanoke

Studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom
Intercom entry system, off street parking
Contact: 816-531-2205

Plaza Terrace

610 West 46th Street
Kansas City, MO 64112
Contact: 816-531-1152 

Alpine – 4038 McGee

Two bedrooms
Balcony, central air, laundry room, parking lot
Contact: 816-753-1923

Monterrey – 46th Terrace and Wornall

Studios and one bedroom
Quiet, well established building, secured entrance. Phone entry system, central air and laundry facility. Covered veranda for tenant use.
Contact: Eric; 816-753-1923

MAC Property Management

701 East Armour Boulevard
Newly renovated apartments – studio, one and two bedroom
Student discounts available
Contact: Jennifer at 816-931-2108 or 888-755-2413 or

Helmuth Rentals

4147 McGee and 4209 Oak
One and two bedroom (plus six basement work areas/studios)
Contact: Richard Helmuth; 913-677-0564 or

Realtors in the Kansas City area

Knaack Properties
4101 Walnut

MAC Property Management
701 East Armour Blvd.

Helmuth Rentals
Property close to campus
Email: for pictures of properties

Terra Management
4210 Troost

John Krugh Realty**
607 Westport Road
Suite 200
**student recommended

Plaza Living Center – FREE apartment locators
4621 Broadway

Windsor and Company LLC (Paul C. Windsor)
3304 Karnes Blvd.

For community crime information


Other resources

CORT Furniture Rentals

9111 Quivira Road
Overland Park, KS 66215
Contact: Libby Troxel
Direct: 913-221-0189, ext. 22710

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