Business and community leaders celebrated the groundbreaking Wednesday morning of Montecito Bank & Trust’s new branch at 6900 Hollister Ave. in Goleta.

The 6,018-square-foot branch will include two drive-up teller stations and an additional 2,700-square-foot space for an undetermined tenant, Towbes Group Chairman Michael Towbes said.

The branch, the ninth for Montecito Bank & Trust, is expected to open early next year.

“We’re very happy to be more involved in the Goleta community and see it as a real opportunity to grow our business relationships,” Montecito Bank & Trust President Janet Garufis said. “This will primarily be a commercial-banking office. Because we have a drive-through ATM and a drive-through window, we will be able to service our consumers in a very convenient way and at a convenient location because of the traffic that happens here on the corner.”

The branch, on the corner of Storke Road and Hollister Avenue, will replace a gas station that closed in 2009. It will employ about 10 workers and a provide a handful of construction jobs.

“First off, it brings construction jobs. Secondly, it puts Montecito Bank & Trust on a really important corner,” Towbes Group President Craig Zimmerman said. “The bank not only provides world-class banking but also all the philanthropy work they do. We will start to see things happen at this corner, and it will become another focal point of Goleta.”

The Goleta City Council earlier this year approved a General Plan amendment to change the lot’s designation from commercial to office and industrial, in addition to the property’s rezoning and conditional-use permits for the drive-up stations. It will be a one-story branch that will share parking and driveway access with the adjoining Storke Hollister Research Center.

Montecito Bank & Trust ended the second quarter with $4.4 million in net profit, up 1 percent from a year ago.

Despite the stock market’s recent volatility, Garufis said, the bank’s clients remain calm and are seeing it as an investment opportunity.

“It’s gradual, and it’s going to be bumpy,” she said. “I think what you’ve seen in the market this last week, it will settle down, but the volatility is going to continue until there’s more certainty from people about where (the economy) is going, and that’s going to take some time.”

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at akacik@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.