So, more rich folks will be moving into the area. That seems like a good thing for creating more restaurants, art facilities, Starbucks, etc. Raises property values, etc. Batali and Bastianich will be looking for space, etc
I think you misunderstand what Brooklyn is like if you think we're lacking in restaurants, art facilities, coffee places, etc. The effect on property values will be interesting, in that this development will turn the surrounding neighborhoods into exactly what the people who traditionally moved there were trying to get away from. The same goes for Batali and Bastianich: people who have moved to Brooklyn don't WANT that.
Isn't that kind of discounting where Batali and Bastianich are coming from? They weren't always "Batali and Bastianich" like that. But Po (of yore) was the exact sort of restaurant that Brooklynites love. I never get the sense that people who have moved to Brooklyn are doing it to escape Michelin stars or quality. In many ways it is a more hyped food scene than NY (Robertas has a RADIO STATION for godsake). Sure, there's a resistance to 'big box' even if that box holds Mario or Bastianich, but it isn't as though there aren't Brooklyn chefs who are growing little empires. They'll be the Batali's and Bastianich's of the future and while you might object...plenty of Brooklynites won't.
Sorry to bring this back to so frivolous a subject as food after that very erudite discussion of the demerits of the Atlantic Yards project, but it occurs to me that we probably aren't even disagreeing.
I was talking about "Batali & Bastianich" SPECIFICALLY -- i.e.
, the assumption that what people in Brooklyn want is branches of Manhattan restaurants or extensions of Manhattan chains. I have no doubt that equivalent Brooklyn chains will develop. But they'll be just that -- Brooklyn
chains. To the extent it's just B&B and Danny Meyer, Brooklyn will indeed be "over". But I think there's just as much resistance in Brooklyn to Manhattan transplants as there is in Manhattan to out-of-town transplants. Look at how poorly most of the straight transplants from Manhattan have done in Brooklyn. Not just Po, but Mercat and others I can't think of right now.* (Bubby's and a few others like it are exceptions that prove the rule -- that's nothing like a B&B restaurant.) Brooklyn restaurants expanding to Manhattan have been much more successful.
Having said that, I am sorry to say that there also has been resistance in Brooklyn to higher-priced restaurants, which in my view has tamped the scene down. Not just in Williamsburg, where at least it's understandable. But also in Park Slope, where people can afford to pay more but refuse to (on local restaurants). I do agree that that eventually will be overcome. (Brooklyn Fare stands somewhat outside this, as I don't think it was ever conceived as serving the neighborhood.)
* Taavo Somer showed how to do it: open something in Brooklyn that has no resemblance to your Manhattan restaurants.