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FRAMINGHAM, MA-Despite being outed in his quest to quietly assemble a large developable site overlooking the Massachusetts Turnpike here, Congress Group founder Dean Stratouly has reportedly secured the key parcel in that campaign. According to industry sources, Stratouly has emerged victorious in a bid to control 125 Pennsylvania Ave., a six-acre property occupied for decades by International Paper Co. Sources could not provide a sales price or when the closing might occur.

Confirmation of the selection was not secured by press deadline, as Stratouly was unavailable and broker Anthony Biette of Grubb & Ellis declined comment, but multiple sources insist that Congress Group survived a spirited competition for the property. Biette and G&E principal Hank Amabile are handling negotiations on behalf of the Tennessee-based owner of 125 Pennsylvania Ave. The paper plant was shuttered last year, and ownership opted to seek a buyer.

After building a diverse mix of urban properties, including the 435-unit Museum Towers apartments in Cambridge and Boston�s newest office tower, 33 Arch St.; Stratouly is targeting suburban opportunities such as a Wayland retail project. Last Dec. 11th, GlobeSt.com reported Stratouly was focused on Pennsylvania Ave., exemplified by his picking up two smaller buildings adjacent to the International Paper plant. The developer acknowledged interest in 125 Pennsylvania Ave. and relayed a vision of a high-end office park that would be visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike below. A March 17th GlobeSt.com story indicated Stratouly was a finalist to buy 125 Pennsylvania Ave., a story for which he did not return calls.

Others familiar with Pennsylvania Ave. agree the concept is viable, with one veteran broker recalling talk of upgrading the swath of older industrial buildings dating back to the 1980s. �It still hasn�t materialized, but (Stratouly) could be the one to make it happen,� says the broker. Visibility and access to the turnpike and Route 9 are among the strong suits, according to the broker. The area already has several office buildings, including the Bose Corp. headquarters on an even higher vista than Pennsylvania Ave. and properties occupied by Genzyme Corp. Bose has another building abutting the two parcels Stratouly acquired earlier this year, and some maintained that firm and Genzyme might try to buy 125 Pennsylvania Ave. for their own use. Biette would not say who pursued the property.

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