SAN FRANCISCO -- The renovation of Union Square, with its new granite-lined walkways and arching palm trees, isn't the only development here that travelers will see when they visit the City by the Bay.

Construction cranes are standing all over the city as crews are starting work or putting the finishing touches on tourism-related projects years in the making -- and now expected to be completed by the middle of the decade.

On the hotel front, construction is under way on Starwood's St. Regis Hotel, located adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art at Yerba Buena Gardens.

The hotel, which will have 269 rooms and a spa, will feature 12,760 square feet of meeting space. It is scheduled to open in fall 2004.

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group has restarted the renovation of the historical Haslett Warehouse at the Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf. The work was under way when a fire gutted the building last year.

Kimpton said it will finish the project, which will include a 268-room boutique hotel called the Argonaut and the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park's visitor center. The scheduled opening is mid-2003.

In other tourism-related developments in San Francisco:

• The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau has brought back Dine About Town, a dining event where more than 100 restaurants offer specially priced menus for three-course lunches and dinners from Jan. 11 to 31.

Also, in February, the bureau and local merchants will launch a Crab Celebration. There will be cooking demonstrations, competitions and crab dishes on menus at restaurants. More information is available at www.sfvisitor.org.

• The cultural event of 2003 here might be the Jan. 23 opening of the Asian Art Museum at the city's Civic Center.

Formerly housed at a wing of the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park, the collection of more than 13,000 works will move to San Francisco's former Main Library, which was gutted and renovated. More information is available at www.asianart.org.

• One of San Francisco's landmarks, the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, is expected to reopen March 21 with lots of attractions for visitors interested in fine dining.

The ground floor will take a page from Seattle's Pike Place market and offer a farmers' and seafood market atmosphere comprising 47 shops, two restaurants and two cafes. For more details, visit www.sfport.com.

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