Instead, county commissioners have started talks with their No.2 developer choice: Austin Convention Center builder LandmarkOrganization Inc., of Austin, TX. If talks break down withLandmark, the commission could go to its No. 3 selection,Orlando-based Tempus Resorts International, or scrap the $100million, 500,000-sf convention concept completely.

If built at all, the convention center won't be breaking grounduntil early 2004 with expected completion in 2006, areaconstruction industry estimators familiar with comparable projectstell GlobeSt.com. Xentury had planned to have the center open forevents by early 2005.

The county's decision to sever ties with Xentury City hinged ontwo issues: complete ownership by the county of Xentury's donated30 acres and unproven allegations of ties to terrorist-relatedgroups against Xentury's parent, Xenel International of Jeddah,Saudi Arabia.

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