JPMorgan Chase & Co. is seeking to sell 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, the lower Manhattan tower built by David Rockefeller in the late 1950s, as the company reduces its office space in the city.

The bank would relocate about 4,000 employees, most of the people who work in the 60-story skyscraper, to other New York locations, said Brian Marchiony, a spokesman. JPMorgan occupies about half of the space in 2.2 million-square-foot (204,000- square-meter) building, according to CoStar Group Inc., a Washington-based firm that follows office leasing.

An offering of the tower, a city landmark designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft, would test the downtown office market. Shrinking financial companies have left lower Manhattan landlords with at least 6.3 million square feet of space to fill, according to data from brokerage Newmark Knight Frank Grubb. The tower may achieve its highest value as a mixed-use property, with a hotel, additional retail or apartments added, said Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics Inc., a New York-based research firm that tracks commercial real estate sales.

"You could do a department store in the base," he said. "It's a very exciting potential mixed-use opportunity, in my mind. I think the market will receive it very well."

The building may fetch at least $600 million, according to a person with knowledge of the offering. The cost to buyers would be higher because they would assume any conversion expenses, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Other tenants include the law firms Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, with 337,000 square feet, and Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, with 66,000 square feet, according to CoStar.

The tower was once the headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank. Rockefeller, as head of the bank's building committee, selected the site and oversaw its construction.

Chase bought JP Morgan & Co. in 2001. The building was offered for sale in 2009 and pulled off the market later that year, when Manhattan office buildings lost almost 47 percent of their value in the wake of the credit crisis.

The bank also owns or leases offices at its headquarters at 270 Park Ave., 245 and 277 Park Ave., 4 New York Plaza downtown, MetroTech Center in Brooklyn and the Newport office complex in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The plan to sell the building was reported earlier today by Crain's New York Business.

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