PHOTO: The construction site of the planned hotel in June 2011. (Photo via Flickr/US Embassy Kabul Afghanistan)
A failed hotel project in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul is still costing American taxpayers.
The 200-plus-room, five-star hotel in Kabul is not only empty, unfinished and damaged, but requires an uknown amount of money for security because of its proximity to the U.S. Embassy, Reuters reported.
"The $85 million in loans is gone, the buildings were never completed and are uninhabitable, and the U.S. Embassy is now forced to provide security for the site at additional cost to U.S. taxpayers," the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) wrote in a letter to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which partially funded the project.
Workers broke ground on the hotel more than a decade ago and it was initially to be run by the Hyatt Hotels Corporation. By 2007, Marriott had agreed to manage the hotel, but would withdraw years later, according to Reuters.
"The Marriott Hotel Kabul is emblematic of our reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan," Special Inspector General John Sopko told FoxNews.com. "Great ideas, tons of money, poor execution and no oversight create incredible opportunities for fraud."
Construction on the hotel stalled in 2013 because of "security issues" and the site has been deemed a security threat ever since, requiring guarding by embassy personnel.
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Millions of dollars more were lost when an adjacent luxury apartment project met a similar fate.
"As with the hotel, we found that the apartment project was never finished and appears to be abandoned, and that representations made to OPIC that the building could open by August 2013 were blatantly false and unrealistic," the SIGAR wrote.
In response to the letter, the OPIC said that it "does not control the project, but has encouraged the project developer to find a third party to either purchase the project or provide additional funds to complete it."
Currently, the hotel and the attached residences remain empty across the street from the U.S. Embassy and it is unclear whether they will be finished.