Bank of Marin has opened a commercial loan office in downtown Santa Rosa, with plans for a retail branch at the location next year.

"We've got a great team of veteran lenders, and we think we can generate a fair amount of commercial loan business out of that office," said Bank of Marin CEO Russ Colombo.

The office at 50 Santa Rosa Ave. near Old Courthouse Square will have six employees to start, with a total of 9 employees when it opens the retail branch next March or April, Colombo said.

The loan operation will be led by long-time Sonoma County commercial bankers Dave Brown, Kim August, Joe Scaramella and Chris Rosell.

It's the first Santa Rosa location for Bank of Marin, which has 3 retail branches in Petaluma. The bank is headquartered in Novato, with 10 branches in Marin and a commercial loan office in San Francisco.

The 20-year-old bank has more than $1 billion in assets and about 200 employees companywide.