Montecito Bank & Trust celebrated the grand opening its ninth branch Tuesday afternoon, at 6900 Hollister Ave. in Goleta.
The branch, on the corner of Storke Road and Hollister Avenue, replaced a gas station that closed in 2009.
The 6,018-square-foot branch features a drive-through ATM and teller station, a walk-up ATM and a night depository vault. The one-story branch shares parking and driveway access with the adjoining Storke Hollister Research Center, another Towbes Group property at 6950 Hollister Ave.
Towbes Group founder Michael Towbes said the project was built in a little more than four months, thanks to the city’s help.
“The city was very cooperative,” he said. “They were concerned it was going to be a massive building, but they were happy we built a low-scale building that helped frame the entrance to Goleta.”
Branch manager Javier Quezada said Montecito Bank & Trust aims to improve its relationship with UCSB and increase its lending.
“One of the biggest things we have is a great institution that develops great students and businesses,” he said. “When they have a hard time as a startup to get support, we will partner with them from day one all the way through.”
What it comes down to is treating customers as if they were family, Quezada said.
“We treat everyone as a family member coming to our home, and the rest will take care of itself,” he said.
Goleta Mayor Ed Easton said almost all development casework for remaining vacant parcels in Goleta is in the pipeline for approval, and the new branch sets a standard to which all developments should achieve.
“That means our city will be built out in the foreseeable future; hopefully we can expect to see more of this kind of project,” Easton said. “We hope to see more redevelopment of existing lots for better uses which might, as this building does, improve traffic flow at this crucial intersection.”
For the mayor, it signifies more than just a branch.
“I want to see this as the beginning of the second stage of Goleta’s growth as a small but high-quality residential community in the best location in California,” Easton said.