I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on downtown Denver. It was a late-summer night in 2013, and I was bleary-eyed and hangry after making the cross-country move from Indianapolis in my filled-to-the-brim sedan. As I rounded the I-25 exit ramp onto Colfax, the twinkling downtown skyline came into focus and my exhaustion turned to glee. I rolled down the windows and reveled in the glow of a new-to-me city and the start of a new chapter in life.

Eight years later, my heart still soars every time I see that view of our city skyline. Only now, it’s much bigger and denser. In such a short period of time, the cityscape has shape-shifted to accommodate an influx of new development, fellow transplants, and new businesses.

This issue explores a number of ways in which Denver is evolving further—from a visually striking hotel and micro-apartment complex that will soon take root in the Civic Center Park neighborhood to a new real-estate model that helps first-time buyers secure property in Denver’s red-hot housing market. And, in our second installment of the Top 15 Home Industry Influencers, we honor 15 movers and shakers who are shaping the way we live within our changing city. You’ll meet designers, architects, and creatives who are making an aesthetic impact on Denver’s residential landscape, as well as thought leaders and problem solvers who are tackling issues such as affordable housing and historic preservation.

As Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver and one of our “Top 15” honorees, put it, these individuals are motivated to protect Denver from becoming an “Any Place, USA”—and more of a place that makes our hearts soar each time we catch a glimpse of that glittering skyline.