City of Chicago vying for PsiQuantum facility with incentives package

Former U.S. Steel South Works site being offered to California-based quantum computing pioneer, in competition with city of Lockport’s offers

Chicago Trying to Lure PsiQuantum to Former Steel Plant
Mayor Brandon Johnson and PsiQuantum’s Jeremy O’Brien (Getty, PsiQuantum)

Mayor Brandon Johnson is throwing his weight behind the quantum computing movement that’s gaining traction in Chicago.

The Johnson administration is working with county and state officials to create an inventive package for PsiQuantum to redevelop the former U.S. Steel South Works on the city’s South Side into a state-of-the-art quantum computing facility, Crain’s reported

The effort is to persuade California-based PsiQuantum, a pioneer in quantum computing, to choose the former U.S. Steel site over the former Texaco refinery in southwest suburban Lockport. Also vying to host the facility, Lockport officials cite its access to significant water and electric power resources essential for supercomputers’ cooling requirements. Plus, the Lockport site is being offered for free and has been environmentally remediated. 

Chicago may need to invest up to $150 million to match Lockport’s proposal, the outlet reported, citing an anonymous source. Parts of the South Works site are environmentally cleared. 

The development, expected to involve billions of dollars in investment, would help revitalize a South Side community that’s struggled since the closure of local steel mills. PsiQuantum is expected to make its decision within the next month.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The proposed incentive package further demonstrates Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desire to position Illinois as a hub for quantum development. He views this cutting-edge technology as a long-term driver of high-paying jobs, attracting researchers and skilled workers. 

Pritzker envisions the PsiQuantum facility as the cornerstone of a $20 billion quantum research campus. The campus is intended to attract global companies eager to harness the technology’s advanced data processing capabilities for artificial intelligence and other advancements.

The Illinois General Assembly has approved up to $500 million in funding for site preparation and incentives. While details of Chicago’s incentive package haven’t been disclosed, officials said it is highly competitive. 

The city’s offer could include changes to the zoning code to accommodate the unique requirements of a computer-related development such as a data center, along with potential tax-increment financing districts. In addition, Cook County is considering a Class 8 property tax break, which significantly reduces assessments for industrial developments.

—Quinn Donoghue 

Read more

Chicago Industrial Sites Eyed For Quantum Computing Facility
PsiQuantum, Related eye big industrial sites for redevelopment
IBM Expansion Could Solidify Chicago as Quantum Computing Hub
IBM’s quantum computing moves could put industrial space in demand
Blackstone's Jonathan Gray; data center
Blackstone’s next play: Data centers for AI boom
Recommended For You