Keansburg Is a Bargain Beach Town but Not for Long

keansburg new jersey beach real estate
Keansburg Beach with NYC skyline in the distance

Nicknamed the “Gem of the Bayshore,” Keansburg, New Jersey, is a beachside borough in Monmouth County less than 50 miles from New York City. Keansburg was battered by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and it is still recovering, but great progress has been made as well, attracting events and investments that match the commitment of Keansburg’s earnest residents. Home to the oldest amusement park in the state and two miles of beach with views of the Manhattan skyline, Keansburg has a small town feel and big-time potential.

Originally the home of Lenni Lenape Indians, the area was settled by Europeans in the 17th and 18th Century and what is now Keansburg became a farming and clamming community called Granville–a nod to the grain industry. In 1884, a local pastor petitioned for a post office to be built in Granville and sent a list of 132 names to John Kean of Elizabeth, a candidate for Congress. The new post office was approved and the petitioning pastor’s wife became Granville’s first postmaster. And the borough was renamed Keansburg in honor of John Kean.

keansburg historical museum
Keansburg Historical Museum

Officially formed as a borough in March 1917, Keansburg is celebrating its centennial this year as well as experiencing a real renaissance. Gratitude Migration, a three-day festival on the beach, returned this summer for the third year in a row, bringing city-dwellers from Manhattan and Brooklyn to the Raritan Bay coastline for the weekend just as steamships did at the beginning of the last century.

gratitude migration 2017 keansburg nj
Gratitude Migration 2017

William Gelhaus was a major investor in Keansburg, building the Keansburg Amusement Park in 1904 and primarily founding The Keansburg Steamboat Company in 1910, offering roundtrip service from Battery Park to Keansburg for 50 cents–$12.45 today.

keansburg nj real estateNow, Keansburg is easily accessible by New Jersey Transit trains and buses as well as Academy bus lines and a New York Waterway Ferry from New York City that stops at nearby Belford. Mr. Cliff Moore, an extremely active resident who is not only a local restaurant owner but also an Economic Community Development Coordinator and the founder of the Keansburg Business Alliance, admits Keansburg was down and out even before Sandy.

keansburg boardwalk jersey shore
Empty storefronts along Carr Avenue

“The municipality has come a long way since Sandy but still has a long way to go,” said Mr. Moore. “The landscape of empty homes, businesses, and commercial buildings creates a great opportunity for investors, home buyers, and businesses. There have been over 15 new businesses that took the opportunity and opened in Keansburg since Sandy.”

cove on the bay rental apartments keansburg real estate development
Cove on the Bay rental development under construction

Over $65 million in construction is currently underway and another $25 million is planned or on the drawing board, according to Mr. Moore. Among the new developments is Cove on the Bay, 184 luxury rentals and 10,000 square feet of retail, and Pier 260–a three-story restaurant with a rooftop bar and view of the City skyline.

runaway rapids keansburg new jersey
Runaway Rapids Waterpark

A condominium project offering over 200 residences is undergoing approval and Keansburg will also soon be home to the brand new Raritan Bay Brewery, opening this fall in a one- hundred-year-old building. “A new state-of-the-art police department is under construction as well as several new homes and improvement projects. Keansburg just built and opened a new school last year and is evolving into a year-round community,” said Mr. Moore. A new Recreation Department was also formed and planned over 50 beach events this year, including a Farmers’ Market, free movies, yoga, and free concerts.

keansburg real estate for rent
Low rent storefront on Carr Avenue

Everyone in Keansburg from the local volunteers to elected officials is participating in the rebirth of the town, but the rebuilt beach, below market real estate rates, available tax abatements, and proximity to New York City, not to mention views of Manhattan from the beach, speak for Keansburg and its unlimited potential. “In the next two to three years,” said Mr. Moore, “many people will be scratching their heads, asking themselves how did they pass up the opportunities Keansburg is currently offering.”


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  1. NO that will not happen their are not many beach out their as Decent As Keansburg beach and also I found pretty cool sea shells their also, The Keansburg amusement park is amazing to IF YOU DO, THEN I NEED ALL DA SEASHELLS cause then cool but anyways please don’t do that

  2. I’m a 71 year old NYC resident and our family vacationed in Keansburg every summer till I was 11 years old when my Mom passed away. I haven’t been back since then, 60 years ago. I tell my children and grandchildren the fond memories I still have of the boardwalk where we would begin at one end and have french fries with malt vinegar and end up at the other end with fantastic Belgian waffles and ice cream. I remember walking to Carr Avenue where we would have soft shell crabs on white bread, a delicacy I still favor today. My memories of Keansburg are vivid and wonderful. It was a time when our entire family would come down on weekends and the horrors of everyone leaving to go back to work Sunday night while me and my cousins would cry till we saw everryone next weekend. It was a time when we would anxiously await our Grandfathers visit knowing he would take us to the “Creek” for blue claw crabbing. Today is Sunday 8/25/2019 and this Tuesday my wife and I are going to get up early, stop at Dunkin Donuts and head down to Keansburg for a day of memories of the best years of my youth…

  3. Do you live there? Websites say it has a low crime rate, but they can be misleading. Contemplating the investment opportunity.

  4. Do u live there what are u basing this on .. don’t want crime or drugs! But want beach home tha is affordable where do u recommend?

  5. It was the love of my youth. We would go there 2 weeks every summer. My mom and dad rented a bungalow and off we went to the beach with our tubes….i had the happiest most carefree days of my life there. I hope all goes well for keansburg.

  6. It was the love of my youth. We would go there 2 weeks every summer. My mom and dad rented a bungalow and off we went to the beach with our tubes….i had the happiest most carefree days of my life there. I hope all goes well for keansburg.

  7. I too have fond memories of the Keansburg board walk from the 1960s and I live here now for about 16yrs i lived in Middletown and went to all my years of school there, I see Keansburg everyday and i have been to fla, Va, and everywhere else to jersey shore Beaches and I cannot for the life of me figure out why this is not a thriving Board walk or Beach area? Keansburg needs investors for this area along the board walk and Carr ave .what a waste of Beach front property.


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