One half may be based in Long Island City, Queens.
The rumored front-runner location in Northern Virginia is in Crystal City.
The Journal said the main reason for having the two new facilities is to make it easier for Amazon to recruit enough talent.
There has been recent conflicting reports on where Amazon will park it.
Amazon estimates HQ2 will bring more than $5 billion in construction investments and as many as 50,000 jobs to the city amidst decades of ongoing investment in the surrounding community. Both the city and county plan to appeal that decision.
Amazon, based in Seattle, is apparently seriously considering an area known as Crystal City. The company was never going to have that sort of outsize impact on NY, which has more than 10 times the population of Seattle, but the company's impact would be even more diluted now.
NY also is believed to be in the running, in a neighborhood that borders the East River overlooking Manhattan that is popular with young professionals.
"Even if the most obvious reasons appear to be about attracting more tech workers, the PR and government incentives benefits could help, too", said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, the online jobs site. Pulling talent from two major cities means there's more potential candidates to choose from.
The e-commerce giant is close to agreements that would split the new headquarters between two locales, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public matters.
Or, as Vox's Matthew Yglesias put it, "High-end employers continue to try to pack in to already-expensive supply constrained cities. not a great trend". There's been intense competition to win over the company, with some throwing around billions of dollars in tax incentives. Vavra said there are now about 1,000 employees in NY and 2,000 in the Arlington and D.C. area. "But we are dealing with a lot of data, which are not very clear". On paper, the neighborhood has good subway access to Midtown Manhattan, though in practice weekend maintenance and daily delays have become the norm with the city's aging subway system.