The Savage City Council last week approved a preliminary development plan for what could be the city’s first upscale apartment complex in several years and the first in the metro area to be gated.

The Springs at Egan Drive would put 288 apartments, a clubhouse, pool, car washing station and pet playground on a 37.5-acre site at the northeast corner of County Road 42 and Louisiana Avenue. The parcel is bordered by a Life Time Fitness and a vacant lot on the east, by multiunit housing on the north and by single-family homes on the south and west.

The complex would be surrounded by a black wrought-iron fence with a security gate in the southwest corner, controlling who comes in and serving as the sole entrance.

Neighbors had opposed the addition of high-density housing, citing traffic and safety concerns. They were especially worried about the development’s lone entry point funneling unusually heavy traffic directly across from the single-family homes. Some residents at the council meeting asked if the entry could be moved to the east closer to the Life Time Fitness building.

The Planning Commission had previously approved the project’s preliminary development plan with some conditions — including one that a second access point on the north end for emergency vehicles also could be used by residents in the future if the city decided the one on Louisiana wasn’t working efficiently.

The developer, Milwaukee-based Continental Properties, told the council it would take further steps to disperse traffic by making the opening on the north end an exit-only point as part of the initial plan.

The concession resulted from ongoing discussions between the developer and city planners, according to Senior Planner Terri Dill. “I believe the developer finally agreed that it was in their best interest to construct [the second opening] with the initial construction,” Dill said.

The apartments will be in 17 two-story buildings designed to look like townhouses. City planners have said the project would fill a need for more market-rate rental housing in Savage.

Continental hasn’t provided the city with information on proposed rents at the complex, which would have studio apartments and one-, two- and three-bedroom units. A similar development in West Des Moines, Iowa, has monthly rents from about $850 to more than $1,500, according to