ALAMEDA -- The Bank of Alameda and its holding company are being bought by the parent of Bank of Marin in a deal that will create a new bank with $1.7 billion in assets.

Novato-based Bank of Marin Bancorp said Monday it is buying NorCal Community Bancorp, whose principal operation is Bank of Alameda.

"This acquisition provides Bank of Marin with the right opportunity to expand into the East Bay," said Joel Sklar, chairman of Bank of Marin Bancorp.

Once the deal is complete, the combined bank will operate 21 branches in five counties: Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa counties.

Bank of Alameda has four branch offices that serve Alameda, Oakland and Emeryville. The bank has assets of $264.7 million and deposits of $228.7 million.

During the first quarter of 2013 ended March 31, Bank of Alameda harvested a profit of $6.6 million, far more than the profit of $372,000 in the year-ago first quarter. For all of 2012, Bank of Alameda lost $522,000 compared to a profit of $619,000 in 2011.

In the first quarter of 2013, Bank of Marin earned slightly less than $5 million, down 1.5 percent from the year-ago first quarter. During 2012, the Marin bank earned $18.2 million, up 13.5 percent from 2011.

"This transaction will further improve community banking for our customers by offering an expanded line of products and services, and larger business loans," said James Davis, chairman of Bank of Alameda.

Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.