NEW YORK -- Former President Richard Nixon is moving from his federal office in Manhattan to a $137,800-a-year suite in a palatial building within walking distance of his Saddle River, N.J., estate, aides said Tuesday.
'The former president has been at 26 Federal Plaza for eight years and it is beginning to take him as much as 2 hours each way to get to and from work,' chief Nixon aide John Taylor said.
'He feels his working time is better spent at home or somewhere nearby, rather than in a car on the West Side Highway,' he said.
On Nixon's orders, aides sought to find secure office space within walking distance of his leafy $2.3 million estate in exclusive Saddle River, just south of the New Jersey-New York border.
Nixon, 75, also ordered that the rent at the new site not exceed what it would have cost to stay at Federal Plaza, where rent was projected at $688,000 over five years, or $137,600 a year, Taylor said.
But the cost will be a bit more, Taylor said.
American taxpayers will pay $689,000 over five years -- $137,800 a year -- for Nixon's 3,800-square-foot suite in travel mogul Mario Perillo's new headquarters building in Woodcliff Lake, just a half-mile from his home.
Former presidents are given public funds for office space after they leave office.
The move leaves Nixon with no office or residence in Manhattan except for the East Side home of his daughter, Patricia Nixon Cox.
Nixon will be one of only four tenants in the Perillo's stone and tile neoclassical edifice.
'This is truly a standout building, perfect for an ex-president,' said Perillo Tours manager Stephen Perillo.
Perillo said his employees are excited about Nixon's arrival, expected by Thanksgiving, and said he did not expect the kind of chilly reception that killed the discredited former president's 1984 attempt to purchase a $1.2 million co-op apartment on Park Avenue.
'We think he is a great guy,' Perillo said.
'He came through and shook every young girl's hand in the place. These kids are 22, 25 years old. They don't really know much about him. For them, he's a part of history.'
Nixon was forced to resign the nation's top office on Aug. 9, 1974, as his role in the Watergate scandal emerged and the threat of impeachment loomed.
Taylor said the high rent for the new office paled in comparison to an estimated $10 million Nixon has saved taxpayers by giving up his secret service protection in 1985.