There’s nothing like the spectacular view of the South Shore’s majestic mountains from a boat off the coast of Plymouth.
Nothing like it because the scene doesn’t exist, except on a website for Copper Cove Village, a new apartment complex near the town’s harbor. The site also featured a picture of fishing boats moored in a cove that could be in Maine, but not Plymouth. In another photo, a blissed-out woman runs along a seaside walkway, burning off calories somewhere that’s clearly not “America’s Hometown.’’ The images were deleted Friday afternoon, shortly after a reporter asked the developer about them.
Copper Cove Village, which is nearly ready for its first occupants, includes 42 apartments with rents ranging from $2,250 to $3,000. Tenants will enjoy “large open floor plans boasting incredible city and ocean views,’’ according to the promotional materials. Aside from the fact that Plymouth is still a town, the statement is true. It’s just that the ocean vista they’ll take in isn’t the one that was displayed online.
Kenneth Tavares, Plymouth selectmen chairman, says he doesn’t understand why the developer would use images from elsewhere to sell customers on a community that has plenty of postcard-perfect locations ready for a closeup.
The mountain range panorama was particularly puzzling, Tavares said. “We don’t have any mountains,’’ he noted.
John Iredale, whose Weymouth-based Karsten Co., is building Copper Cove Village, sounded slightly embarrassed Friday when the stock photos were called to his attention. “I’ve got to get that changed,” he said, citing a modest promotional budget as a reason why the out-of-town photos were posted.
They have since been replaced with pictures of Plymouth Harbor.
Geographically inaccurate photos have periodically popped up in advertising campaigns. In 2016, Rhode Island’s economic development agency used a scene from Iceland in a video promoting tourism in the Ocean State. Earlier this year, a Lithuanian Tourism Board campaign with the slogan “Real is Beautiful’’ incorporated pictures from Finland and Slovakia, causing the head of the board to resign.
Promotional gaffes aside, most Plymouth residents probably would agree that Copper Cove is a dramatic improvement over what used to occupy the 2-acre lot: a toxic waste dump. The parcel was once home to a Revere Copper & Brass factory, and the soil had for decades been polluted with petroleum and zinc. The Plymouth Redevelopment Authority spent more than $2 million cleaning it up — an effort partially funded by an Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield grant.
In 2006, Iredale bought the property, but it would be more than a decade before he could break ground. Several factors contributed to the lengthy delay: a maze-like public meeting and permitting process, the 2008 financial collapse, and a final sign-off from the Army Corps of Engineers. Iredale says it’s been “a labor of love,’’ but now — with the Plymouth housing market finally heating up — he’s hoping the waterfront project will be a “home run.’’
To be fair, some of the Copper Cove website pictures have all along depicted Plymouth. The cover page image, for instance, is a fog-tinged shot of the Gurnet Point bluffs. In another small photo, the Mayflower II slices through choppy seas. But prospective renters might be disappointed if they come for a tour and expect to see the replica ship at its berth down the street from Copper Cove Village — the Mayflower is 100 miles away in Mystic Seaport, Conn., undergoing restoration work. The job won’t won’t be finished until 2019.