The foundation stone has been laid for a $1.7 billion Manhattan residential project that is owned by Eyal Ofer's Global Holdings, Goldman Sachs's Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, Arthur Zeckendorf and William Lie Zeckendorf. The project is situated on the former site of the Mayflower Hotel opposite Central Park and it encompasses an entire block on the corner of Central Park West and Broadway. It will consist of 202 units divided between two wings - the 20-storey "House" and the 43-storey "Tower," Global Holdings said on Tuesday. The cost of the units starts at $2 million for a one-bedroom apartment and rises to $45m. for a duplex, and the first residents are expected to move in at the beginning of 2007. For such large sums, the buyers will obtain high-ceiling apartments with wide balconies, panoramic views of Central Park, large kitchens, service entrances and accommodation for staff. In addition, the project will contain wine cellars, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, saunas and a game room, and residents will be able to order room service, with the food prepared by a private chef. Ofer, who is the son of Israel Corp. owner Sami Ofer, showed no reticence when talking about the project. "Without doubt this is the most significant contribution in the last few years to the urban culture and architecture of New York," he said. Robert Stern is the architect and has designed the building using the "neo-classical" style, which is influenced by buildings constructed in the 1930s. The building will be clad with rare Indiana limestone, a material that was used on the facades of the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center.