NEW YORK — Online leader Amazon Inc. refused comment Tuesday on reports that it plans to split its new, second headquarters between two locations.The New York Times said the company is close to deals to locate the new facilities in Arlington, Virginia’s Crystal City area, a Washington, D.C. suburb, and in the Long Island City section of the New York City borough of Queens.Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else except its current sole home base of Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, the Times points out.The Wall Street Journal said Dallas is also a possibility.Company spokespeople reached by CBS News refused to comment on the stories.An update from Amazon is widely expected soon.The Journal said the main reason for having the two new facilities is to make it easier for Amazon to recruit enough talent. Dividing the 50,000 employees expected to staff the new headquarters would also ease the pressure from demand for housing and transportation.The newspapers cited unnamed people familiar with the matter in their reports.The Times said Amazon executives met last month with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state had offered possibly hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of subsidies. They also met with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the newspaper said.”I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes,” the report cited Cuomo as saying.Amazon’s decision to set up another headquarters set off an intense competition among municipalities. Some locations sought to stand out with stunts, but Amazon emphasized it wanted dollars and cents incentives, like tax breaks and grants. It also wanted a city with more than 1 million people, an airport within a 45 minute drive, direct access to mass transit and room to expand.The company received 238 proposals before narrowing the list to 20 in January.Amazon has said it could spend more than $5 billion on the new headquarters over the next 17 years, about matching the size of its current home in Seattle, which has 33 buildings, 23 restaurants and 40,000 employees.The company isn’t leaving Seattle, and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said the new headquarters will be “a full equal” to its current home.Amazon already employs 600,000. That’s expected to increase as it builds more warehouses across the country to keep up with online orders. The company recently announced that it would pay all its workers at least $15 an hour, but the employees at its second headquarters will be paid a lot more — Amazon says they’ll make an average of more than $100,000 a year.
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