A World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies is also a matchup of two of the country’s most important commercial real estate markets.
Those baseball teams play in the fourth- and sixth-largest U.S. cities, located along key shipping ports, and amid thriving warehouse and apartment demand, according to CoStar data.
Houston and Philadelphia also are among many major office hubs trying to regain their footing 2 ½ years into the pandemic.
Those property markets also face uncertainty, and slowing sales across asset types, as part of a national trend because of rising interest rates, inflation and worries about a recession.
Like their baseball teams, the cities also have major differences, including the way residents get around. Houston is sprawling, fast growing and mostly traversed by car. Philadelphia takes up a much smaller land area, making it navigable by foot and public transit.
The urban layouts differ in part because of the much longer history of the East Coast city, which was chartered in 1701 and later served as an early U.S. capital from 1790 to 1800, far before the arrival of automobiles.
The Sun Belt behemoth wasn’t even formed until 1836, six decades after the Declaration of Independence was adopted in Philadelphia in 1776. Texas didn’t become a state until 1845.
Here is a scouting report on the cities playing in the Fall Classic and their real estate markets:
Philadelphia: As of mid-2021, the city’s population was almost 1.58 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Houston: There were almost 2.29 million residents as of mid-2021.
Philadelphia: The city covers just over 134 square miles, less than a quarter of Houston’s total area. Philadelphia’s population per square mile is far greater: 11,937, according to census data. The city is No. 8 in a walkability ranking by Walk Score, a Redfin subsidiary.
Houston: Its area is more than 640 square miles, according to census data, with a population per square mile of about 3,598. Houston ranks 24th on Walk Score’s list of the most walkable U.S. cities.
Philadelphia: Comcast Technology Center is 1,112 feet tall. The 60-story office tower at 1800 Arch St. opened in 2018.
Houston: JPMorgan Chase Tower is 1,002 feet tall. The 75-story office tower at 600 Travis St., formerly known as Texas Technology Center, opened in 1982.
FORTUNE 500 HEADQUARTERS:
Philadelphia: Just two companies based in the city made the 2022 list of largest U.S. corporations: Comcast and Aramark.
Houston: The energy industry plays a major role in Houston’s 10 big global headquarters. In order of size, those companies are Phillips 66, Sysco, ConocoPhillips, Plains GP Holdings, Enterprise Products Partners, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NRG Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Baker Hughes and EOG Resources.
Philadelphia: An unwritten rule prevented any building from rising above the William Penn statue atop City Hall, or 548 feet tall, until architect Helmut Jahn’s two-tower Liberty Place project was approved in the 1980s. One Liberty Place, opened in 1987, rose to 945 feet and remained the tallest point in Philadelphia’s modernized skyline for 21 years. It is now the city’s third-tallest tower.
Houston: It is the largest U.S. city with no zoning regulations, sometimes leading to juxtapositions such as large commercial buildings alongside single-family homes. Several times, residents have voted against proposals to create zoning rules based on land use.
By CoStar.com, Ryan Ori