Like many older urban centers in the United States, Los Angeles' downtown has seen a gentrification push in the last decade in an effort to revitalize the community and bring both new businesses and new residents into the area. One of the bigger projects is ROW DTLA, which was originally built as the LA Terminal Market in the early 1900s; ROW DTLA district today continues to be a major hub for the distribution of produce across the region, but also features retail and restaurants, an art house or two, and one massive parking garage that is truly impressive as far as places go to put your car.
The 10-level edifice sits off of Alameda in between 7th and 8th Streets and is pretty much brand spankin' new (ROW DTLA was just completed in 2016). We're told it holds something like 5,000 cars, so to test that we decided to hold the Superill meet and pop-up store at the facility and see if we could indeed max out the garage.
Ok, so that's a lie - but the staggering amount of space was def a consideration as we looked for a location to host our second event heralding a fresh line of apparel from our collaboration with street-wear brand Illest. Roughly a year ago we shut down The Source OC with the first of these meets, and while the chances of that happening again at ROW DTLA were pretty slim, we didn't mind tempting fate.
We rolled out to the spot early to beat the crowds for the Saturday early evening affair and were greeted by - you guessed it - crowds waiting to get in. We don't know when traffic started backing up, but 90 minutes before the official start time we already had lines of vehicles out the gates. We started letting people in early to try and stay ahead of the jam, but the traffic only worsened. Cars were backed up for miles from the venue, all the way to the highways that cut through downtown - State Route 101, Interstate 5, and Interstate 10.
As the night wore on, the challenges only grew for those attempting to drive into the meet. We ultimately hit capacity after just a couple hours and had to turn cars away, but if you didn't mind parking elsewhere and walking in, we greeted you with open arms. Unfortunately LA's finest also came sniffing around before long, and while the po-po let the event run its course (for the most part), they didn't waste any opportunity to post up just beyond the property and work on meeting their monthly traffic citation quotas. Johnny Law also wasted zero time in calling the meet an "unlawful assembly" right as the event ended, making sure no one lingered any longer than they needed to.
We know a lot of good builds got left out in the cold because of the event's wild success. But we also know a lot of good cars skirted the cutoff. On the top level of the ROW DTLA garage we featured specially invited guests, VIPs, and some cover and feature cars from the magazine's recent past - look for those in separate coverage. The remaining seven levels of parking were for the hearty enthusiasts who braved downtown's shitty, pot-holed streets and got in before the gates closed. Herewith is that gallery.
In it, you'll find a wide variety of daily and weekend drivers, from original NSXs to R35 GT-R, a mess of 350Z and 370Z, and even a Cressida or two. Standouts include the insanely two-tone Bape Evo 9 - which we've shot and will publish shortly - and the West Coast Customs Kia Stinger GT we saw at the recent 2017 SEMA Show. Our favorite, though, might be the white second-gen. Forester we encountered, lowered and rocking a big-fat rear wing like a proper JDM SUV should (it was right-hand drive, too).
Enjoy the photo gallery from Superill Meet 2. Another is on the way with the best of the VIP section on the top floor. And to stock up on the latest Superill merch, make sure to hit up Super Street Garage.