Google has started the final transition to the new Google Places Forums.
When Google says shut down, they mean shut down. They will be closing down the current Places forum and taking all of the existing material off line. All existing posts will be redirected to the home page of the new forum by Thursday of this week. All current and past posts (there are 39699 of them) will be taken down and will no longer be accessible.
This will effectively be the 5th move for the Place’s forum in 5 years. Originally part of the Maps forum on the GoogleGroups Platform, the Places Forum (then known as the Local Business Center) was moved with Maps to the current forum and then split from that forum into its own forum several times before this most recent move. Google transitioned most of their other products over to the new platform over the past 6 months with this being one of the last to move to the new platform.