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NORTH BAY – Roseburg, Ore.-based Umpqua Bank is opening its first office in Santa Rosa in mid-April.

The office will offer residential and commercial mortgages and have several investment advisers.

“We want to be in the Santa Rosa market,” said Ric Carey, executive vice president in charge of community banking and the mortgage division.

“We are opening with the mortgage group because we have quite a bit of money to lend,” he said.

Randy Blankenbaker is the new area manager and will be in charge of the Santa Rosa office. He has been with Umpqua for a month now and is working out of the Napa branches.

“I am optimistic. The mortgage industry has been tough," he said. But he added there are more people today who are able to purchase a home. "I think it is a good business to be in right now.”

He had been an area manager with Chase for 22 years, but when Chase acquired Washington Mutual, that changed and it closed the office he worked in at the beginning of the year.

He said he is getting familiar with the systems and policies at Umpqua and is starting the recruitment process.

“I will be hiring six or seven people for the Santa Rosa office and another six or seven people for Napa and Solano,” Mr. Blankenbaker said.

He will be in charge of about 25 employees in the greater North Bay and Bay Area. There are currently seven branches in Napa with roughly 100 employees. The bank has a wine team led by Mark Brody and focuses on that market out of Napa.

Mr. Blankenbaker said the bank already services a lot of customers in the Santa Rosa area who had been asking when Santa Rosa would pop up on the Umpqua radar.

Mr. Carey said the bank plans on expanding more in the area in the near future.

“We have our sights on this market,” he said.

Eventually there will be retail banking out of the branch, but initially it will be focusing on the lending and investment side of the business.

The new office is on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa, where Financial Title was prior to the closing of its California offices in 2008.

Tom Laugero of Keegan & Coppin in Santa Rosa and Kurt Conley of Colliers International in Roseville brokered the deal on the 4,695-square-foot office.

Umpqua Holdings Corp., the parent company of the bank, recently repaid $214.2 million in funds it had received under the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program.

It paid the Treasury $214.2 million in principal and $59,500 in dividends.

Ray Davis, president and chief executive officer of Umpqua Holdings Corp., said the bank has originated more than $1.7 billion in loans and assumed the operations of two failed banks since January 2009.

The latest acquisition was Evergreen Bank of Seattle in January of this year. Mr. Carey said there is another FDIC-assisted transaction on the horizon.

Umpqua has total assets of $9.5 billion and has 160 offices from Seattle to Lodi.

“We have quite a presence in California already and just want to expand on that market,” said Mr. Carey.

Umpqua Holdings Co. stock was trading at $12.25 Thursday.