The Rockland City Council has a busy agenda for Monday evening, June 13 that includes applying for a $400,000 grant to help the owner of the Thorndike building undertake a major renovation project.

The council is scheduled to vote on an order to submit an application for a 2011 Communities for Maine’s Future grant from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

The grant would also result in public improvements to the city parking lot in the back of the Thorndike complex. Those improvements would include sidewalks, curbing, lighting, and extension of the Harbor Trail.

For its part, the owner of the Thorndike would undertake a major renovation project to the historic structure located at the intersection of Main Street and Tillson Avenue. That work would include $3.4 million to allow the use of nearly 14,000 square feet of space on the lower level fronting the back parking lot, create a lower level plaza for public recreation and cultural events adjacent to the Harbor Trail, improvements to the 49 apartments in the three-story building built in 1855, and energy efficiency improvements.

The application filed by the city notes the historic significance of the Thorndike.

“Its physical importance is evident by the curved three-story corner which dominates the intersection of Main Street and Tillson Avenue. Its social and cultural importance as the former grand hotel and infamous basement bar at the heart of downtown is well known,” the application states.

The application notes the building has received little maintenance for decades, the back lower level is abandoned, and the first floor street level is “sadly underutilized.”

“As a pivotal building in Rockland’s Downtown Revitalization Plans, the Thorndike has significant potential for rehabilitation and improved contributions to both the Main Street Historic District and to the Tillson District TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for which is a part,” the application notes.

The Thorndike is owned by Merrill Williams of Ojai, Calif. The Williams Trust purchased the Thorndike in 2006 for nearly $2 million.

The council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. although the first half hour is for the council to interview potential candidates for a vacancy created on the Regional School Unit 13 Board when Steven Dyer resigned last week.