Timaru's Presbyterian parish is going "back to the drawing board" after tender offers for the site of Chalmers Church did not reach the valuation.
The parish put Chalmers and St Paul's churches on the market in August. Tender offers closed at the end of last month.
Parish clerk Ken Falconer said although it was progressing with a tender offer on the St Paul's site in Seddon St, it had not yet received a suitable offer for the Chalmers Church site.
"It is back to the drawing board, we're not sure what will happen next," Mr Falconer said.
"The church is in a difficult position. Since we merged, we simply had too much property to manage."
The church's capital funding committee will meet next week to discuss options for Chalmers, including the possibility of readvertising it for tender.
Chalmers, built in 1903, is listed as a Category 2 building by the Historic Places Trust. The property comprises the old Friendship Centre hall, Zest Restaurant and undeveloped land to the south, situated on the corner of Bank St and Elizabeth Place.
Though each is on a different title, it will be sold as one. Its government valuation is $859,000.
"We got quite a bit of a response for both churches, but not one for Chalmers which met the valuation," Mr Falconer said.
He said the parish was forced to put the churches out to market due to the buildings' rising insurance costs.
St Paul's has a reported land value of about $1 million. Mr Falconer would not give details of the offer on St Paul's, other than saying he hoped it would go unconditional in the next few weeks.
Earthquake strengthening will be the responsibility of the new owners. The work on Chalmers is estimated to cost more than $1m though it was cleared by engineers for use without it. Strengthening work on St Paul's is estimated at between $400,000 and $800,000.
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