The strength of KFJ Development Group is in our collective work
and shared knowledge

157 Years of Experience 26 Projects 6 million SqFt New Construction

By the Numbers

The KFJ Development Group team manages the entire project, from inspiration to conceptualization to realization. We believe in tradition, community, and vision, and we incorporate all of these in our innovative development projects. All our projects incorporate a unique artistic image and functional solutions to community growth.

We focus on shared prosperity, enriching the area through investment, sensitive and proactive development, and diversity.


Experts in development.

jim lea kfj development

James W. Lea, III, is an investor, developer, and visionary, who is deeply engaged in the southeastern coastal North Carolina community.

Mr. Lea has previously served as President of the New Hanover County Bar Association, Chairman of the Democratic Party for New Hanover County, and has served on the Board of Trustees for Cape Fear Community College. Mr. Lea is also the past President of the Residents of Old Wilmington, was the Chairman of fundraising for the YMCA and has served on the Board of Directors for the Opera Theatre Company, and on the Board of Directors for the Historic Wilmington Foundation. Mr. Lea also has created and continues to sponsor a scholarship each year at Cape Fear Community College.

For 40 years, he has practiced exclusively in the area of Family Law and has served on the North Carolina State Bar’s Family Council, a select group of family lawyers that sets policy and recommends changes to Family Law on behalf of the North Carolina State Bar. He was named by North Carolina magazine as one of North Carolina’s Best Lawyers. Mr. Lea has been listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for the last 24 years and The Best Lawyers in America for the last 15 years in the area of Family Law. Lea has been recognized for an astounding fifteen cases.

The firm of Lea/Schultz Law was recently listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Law Firms in Family Law tier one.

When he is not practicing law, and making Wilmington a better place to live — he  is an avid tennis player and recent winner of the USTA over 55 State Championship.

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 1981
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit


  • Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Buies Creek, North Carolina
    J.D. – 1980
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    B.A. – 1976
  • Honors: Honor Roll
  • Major: Psychology

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New Hanover County Bar Association, Secretary-Treasurer
  • New Hanover County Bar Association, President Elect, 1991
  • New Hanover County Bar Association, President, 1992
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Council, Member
  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Member, Political Action Committee, 1987 – 1988
  • National Academy of Trial Lawyers
kirk pugh kfj development group
Director of Marketing and Real Estate Development

Kirkland Pugh is a 25-year hospitality executive turned real estate investor and general broker, who has immersed himself in all aspects of the real estate market in Coastal North Carolina for more than a decade.

Mr. Pugh is founder and co-owner of KBT Realty Group – Keller Williams INNOVATE. KBT Realty Group is a top-performing KELLER WILLIAMS® team in Wilmington North Carolina and is affiliated as an independently owned and operated office with Keller Williams Realty, Inc. – the #1 Real Estate Company in the world.

Kirk has lived in Wilmington for 18 years; and has been actively involved in the real estate market for all of those 18 years, eleven of them as a general broker. KBT Realty Group was founded seven years ago. He promises his service-minded philosophy to all his clients, whether they are selling Luxury Estate, Intracoastal Homes, Sound Front Homes, Ocean Front Homes, Gated Community Homes, or Golf Community Real Estate.

Kirk is a member of KW Luxury Wilmington, an exclusive group of real estate consultants who strive to raise the bar for service in the upper-tier home market, serving both sellers and buyers. His dedication to positive real estate growth in the southeastern North Carolina area has landed him in Keller Williams Top Producer status for 2009 to 2021.

Kirk has a very firm footing in the belief that we work to serve both our team, our clients, and our community. As part of the day-to-day mission of KBT Realty, the team actively reaches out into our community to serve in a variety of different ways, whether it’s building a Habitat for Humanity house, helping at food shelters, or donating to worthy causes, or giving back to our clients – people who have already transacted business with us. 

Kirk believes that it is integral to doing business that we invite our clients into our lives on a regular basis and thank them for their past business, their continued support, and their referrals.


  • Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (non-degree seeking)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Cape Fear Board of Realtors®, Member
  • Canines for Service, Board Member

Jacqueline Amato

Jacqueline Amato is Chairman Emeritus of TowneBank Mortgage. Previously, she was President of TowneBank Mortgage from 2000 to 2012. She currently serves as a Director of TowneBank. She also serves on the board of the Willie Stargell Foundation in Wilmington and she is on the Board of Old Dominion University. Amato has more than 30 years of experience running a successful mortgage company.


Awards earned.


Keller Williams Realty

Double Platinum

Keller Williams Realty

Highest Closed Volume

Keller Williams Realty

Highest Buyer Closed Units

Keller Williams Realty

Highest Listing Closed Units

Keller Williams Realty

Highest Buyer Closed Volume

Keller Williams Realty

Group B Closed Sales of the Month | Jan, May, July, Dec

Keller Williams Realty

Group B Closed Sales of the Month | Feb

Stevens Institute of Technology

International Solar Decathlon Sure House